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Getting to Know the Neighbors (Part 2)

I pulled my other leg out the window and gave a big faked confident smile to my kids now stuck alone in my son’s bedroom. My feet hit the wet ground and I was thankful I had been wearing my slippers! Then I realized how awful this would have been had I been partially dressed for some reason. I wondered if I could have squeezed into any part of a four-year-old’s wardrobe as I ran through the wet grass. I quickly checked all the doors and ran back to the window. ”Everybody ok in there?” ”Yes” he squealed as they ran around the room laughing with each other. 

Ok, so at least they are doing fine. I ran to the garage thinking maybe I could force the door up. Nope. I ran back to the window to peek … still laughing. I remembered a conversation about putting a spare key in the shed five or six years ago. I ran to the shed thankful that it was still light out and scanned the walls and prayed there were no mice about to run over my feet or jump at my face from high shelves. I couldn’t find anything. Then I remembered the small hole in the doorknob that you could put something long and skinny in to unlock the door. I searched the shelves looking for a nail or some other miscellaneous object that, under any other circumstances, would have caused me to yell at my husband for having something so dangerous just laying around in the shed. Nothing.

I headed back to the window and picked up several sticks on the way hoping one would be small enough to try. I climbed back in the window with my slippers soaking wet and my son smiled up at me and said “all the doors are locked?” ”Yes,” I said, “all the doors are locked, but Mommy’s going to fix this door.” I walked over to the door, looked at the hole in the doorknob, looked at my selection of sticks, picked one, put it in, jiggled it, pushed it, and broke it off. Great. Now I probably sealed our fate. I thought. Ok, who has a key to my house? My mother-in-law who lives twenty minutes away  ...  I could call her, but I’d have to go to the neighbor’s house to borrow a phone. I really didn’t want to go to the neighbor’s house. I could try to take the doorknob apart. But I’d have to go to the neighbor’s house to get a screwdriver. I really, really, really didn’t want to go to the neighbor’s house.

But, to the neighbor’s house I went. She looked at me in amazement and said ”Oh dear! What did you do, climb out the window?” ”Yeah.” I said now starting to see the humor in the whole situation. ”My husband will be home in twenty minutes—I can send him over to help!” ”Thanks” I said, “I’ll be back if I still need help” I called over my shoulder as I began back towards the house. It was hard to run in wet slippers. I wondered how much time had passed and what I would find when I got to the window. ”Everybody ok?” Still laughing. ”Yeah!” my son yelled as he bounced his sister on the bed. She was squealing and laughing hysterically. I squeezed back through the window and attacked the door with the screwdrivers. “What are you doing mommy?” My kids ran to me like a moth to a flame. My daughter started twisting the screwdriver with me.” Stop please sweetheart … mommy’s trying to fix the door … stop please.” ”Why?” Why do you think? ”So we can open the door…stop please…mommy needs the screwdriver right now…it’s mommy’s turn…can you go read a book please?” ARGH! 

The screws started to turn and I began to feel hope. The knob came off and I pushed the other half out the other side of the door, heard it crash on the floor and then wondered if I would need that part. I looked at the mechanism still stuck in the door. Ok, I have a college degree … this shouldn’t be that difficult. “Did it work mommy.” “I’m not sure sweetheart.” I stuck the screwdriver in and pushed to the side. It started to shift, made a noise and the door opened. What a relief! We were saved! I went to the window, cranked it shut, put back the screen and heard the door shut behind me. “Uh-oh … mommy the door is locked again,” my son shouted through the closed door. My heart skipped a beat before realizing that I still had the screwdriver and just had to repeat my last action to be reunited with my son. 

I put the doorknob back together all the time checking to see if it was locked and keeping a close eye on my children. I guess I had taken a long time to do all of this because I heard a tap on the window and looked up to see my neighbor with her two kids in tow holding a cell phone, a metal stick, and a variety of screwdrivers and other tools in her hands. ”Are you ok? I brought everything I could find,” she said. I laughed. “We’re fine! We got it. Thank you so much!” I opened the window and handed her back the screwdrivers. I wondered if this would be the moment to suggest a neighborhood BBQ but then thought better of it. She smiled, waved and headed back to her house. I wondered how many months it would be until I saw her again. I decided (again) it wouldn’t be that way this time. I would bring her a plant to say thank you and hope it wouldn’t be too weird.

I went to the garage and found a Philips screwdriver and headed back to my son’s room. I felt I should strap a screwdriver and phone to my belt for the duration of my husband’s absence. I told myself I needed to find a spare key to the house and hide it outside somewhere as I tucked the screwdriver on the top shelf in my son’s closet and made a mental note that we needed to buy a new doorknob with NO LOCK at Home Depot the next time we went. I decided to let the kids play a little longer as my adrenaline levels returned to normal—we’d try for the early bedtime again tomorrow night. Right now I would just enjoy the freedom of being able to walk freely in my house. I called my husband to share the “funny story” and decided to put a hold on my dreams for adding a second floor on the house.

Part 1 ? Part 2

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