Friday Letter to my Kids –
Dear J, J, L and L,
I used to climb out of my bedroom window when I was younger.
It’s not what you think at all. I didn’t slink out when grounded, or try go with friends late at night, or to sneak off with some guy. Nope.
I climbed out in the early morning hours around sunrise, usually on a Saturday.
Unlike my siblings, I loved early mornings. I loved the quiet before everyone was awake. Seemed like a natural thing to lean towards with three brothers and three sisters. Our house seldom knew the meaning of silence.
Problem was, Mom and Dad rose early as well. No way could anyone wake up earlier than they did. I just wanted silence and the freedom to think and be and ease into my day. On emerging from my bedroom one of them would hear me, or see me or speak to me and the magic of the morning shattered and fell like so much crystal around my feet.
So, I learned to climb out of my bedroom window. We had windows with a crank that opened like a door. And fortunately for me, a small brick ledge circled that part of the house under my bedroom window. Then I lowered myself so I could reach that ledge with my toes, just barely. Then holding to the woodwork on the house, I’d ease my way around to the side and shimmy down a drain pipe.
When I got a little older and braver I’d just jump from the ledge. (I’ve looked at that ledge as an adult and it isn’t that high, five feet up at the most. )
Free from the possibility of running into family, I often wandered to the park down the street, or over to the apricot orchard. It just felt good to not have anyone know what I was doing or where I was going.
Sounds scary and dangerous in today’s world, but back then, in the Jurassic period, I felt safe enough. I wasn’t usually gone very long. Mostly I just wanted time to wake up with my own thoughts to wander among. I loved, even way back then, to watch the day begin. I especially liked watching the shadow of the mountain near us grow shorter as the sun rose higher.
As you can imagine, getting back in the house through my open window wasn’t as easy as getting out. Usually there was a woodpile, or a wheelbarrow, or some contraption leaning against the house that I could use to boost myself to the ledge. A quick side stepping got me back to the window and inside easy enough.
I wonder now if the neighbors ever mentioned seeing me climbing out or in to my parents. Probably not, or I’d have heard about it.
Having enjoyed my morning and some quiet, I could cheerfully enter the household fray. (My mom would say I wasn’t very cheerful, especially as a teenager, and that’s true, but that was mostly on school days.)
What you see isn’t always what you think you’re seeing.
I’m not sure I could have put that into words as a kid. I’d have probably really caught some flak if I’d have gotten caught. It would’ve been worth whatever punishment I’d have earned. Luckily that never happened.
I’m still very much a morning person. If your Dad wakes up early it can throw my whole day out of kilter. Poor guy. Poor aggravated me. But, that doesn’t happen too often. Good thing.
So, now you know one of my childhood secrets.
Lots of Love,
“People could behave how they liked, but Allan considered that in general it was quite unnecessary to be grumpy if you had the chance not to.” ~Jonas Jonasson