You know that dream? The one where you’re in a department store or some other public place, and you’re, for some unexplainable reason, naked as a jaybird? You run from display to display trying to avoid the eyes of all the customers, hiding, and hoping you somehow make it to where you can find some clothes to put on.
If you’ve never had that dream, you may think I have issues…and I do, but that’s not what this blog post is about.
I’m currently living this dream in my own home. You see, we have lost the curtain war.
For some reason, Braden decided upon moving into our new home, that he didn’t like our curtains. He didn’t tell us this, of course, but he has been showing us throughout the last several months.
One day we were sitting in our living room. Braden got up from the couch, walked into the dining area, and with one hard yank, he pulled down the drapes, bending and breaking the metal bar on which they were attached.
“Braden, no. Why did you do that?”
A grin as a response.
Okay, a one-off. For some reason, he did that, but we chalked it up to something sensory. Like, perhaps there was a thread hanging off of it that was bothering him. Maybe he saw a spot on it that he found offensive. Who knows?
A few weeks later, however, we heard a crash. A crash in our house is never a good thing. After running to his room, we found both sets of curtains in a tangled mess on the ground. Bits of the concrete they were attached to covered the ground. Thoughts of, “We’re gonna owe the landlord so much money,” crossed our minds as we cleaned up the mess.
“Braden! No! Why did you pull down the curtains.”
It’s tricky when your 18-year-old son has no curtains in his room. Now, he’s an adult man, who doesn’t understand what privacy is, and who will just get dressed wherever he happens to be standing. So now, whenever he changes his clothes, we have to go up with him, to ensure there are no neighbors outside who happen to be looking up into Braden’s room. Can anyone say indecent exposure? We don’t want to be known as “that family.”
Weeks go by…Braden pulls down another set of curtains in our living room. We do a preemptive strike and take down all the other sets.
So now we sit in our living room…exposed. The whole neighborhood knows what we’re watching on TV, what we’re eating for dinner…if we’re taking an afternoon siesta. But, really, it’s
not that big of a deal. At least it wasn’t a big deal…that is until he found the curtains in our bedroom.
We have a large bedroom. It has a sitting area where there is a sliding glass door to the outside. In direct line of eyesight from that door are our bathroom and walk-in closet. Braden loved hanging out on that couch and watching his iPad while Mike and I worked or watched TV. One day, Braden was enjoying the iPad. Suddenly, he looked up and grinned. I thought, “Oh no…” I ran to stop him, but I was too late. He reached out his hand and yanked the curtains straight down.
So now you know why I am living the naked dream. I take a shower, wrap myself in a towel, and peek out the bathroom door. Are any neighbors outside? Are they looking up here? No? Okay, it’s safe to run to the closet. I’m getting pretty good at this game though. I may need to go to ninja training in the future.
Next step…we decide to lock our doors, so Braden cannot go in. We have curtains left in our room, but we don’t want to take them down. One, I do want some privacy, and two…sleeping in the dark is important to me.
We could just see Braden’s mind working. “Challenge accepted,” he seemed to say.
One day last weekend, I was sitting in bed reading a book. Mike had gone down to get coffee, and when he came back up, he forgot to lock the door. Soon, we heard, “thump thump thump”
(Braden running from his room to ours). Mike yelled, “Lori, Lori, Lori.” In my old age, my reaction time has obviously slowed down, as I could not process what was happening. Braden had opened our door and was running directly at me. I finally figured out he was after the curtains above our bed, so I jumped up and tried to grab him. I missed. He swiftly pulled down those curtains with a huge and victorious grin on his face.
We are down to one set of curtains in our bedroom. But at this point, it’s so clear we have lost the curtain war. We will never know why Braden needed to pull them all down. We do know that if we were to calculate the number of things we’ve had to replace over the years due to Braden damaging or breaking them, we’d probably have enough for an amazing vacation.
I currently have a student who does not allow us to write on one of our whiteboards. We don’t know why, but if we put anything on the board or write on it, this student gets extremely upset. It must be the same as what Braden feels with the curtains. Instead of getting angry at this student or Braden for behaving this way, I have to try and get into their brains. I have to seek to understand.
If Braden is so upset by these curtains, we will have to replace them with something different (and pray he is okay with them) or continue to live in a fishbowl where everyone knows our business. Either option is okay. It’s not life or death. It’s just a nuisance.
Yes, we lost the curtain war, but there are so many battles in life that we’re not fighting. For now, we will continue to be household ninjas. Heck, it makes life interesting, right?