I think I’m the one that broke the rules. But only in the daylight. I didn’t always look to see who was there. I rarely locked it. I left it wide open if something exiting came in. Or went out.
In my original families home, the best things came in through our front door; mail, new friends, old friends, presents, Christmas trees, kisses from boys, my dad home from work bearing a new pack of gum in his suit jacket pocket, love. Freedom and independence came out of the front door.
Then once, I opened a front door and let evil inside. If I’d only looked before I opened it, my life would’ve turned out very differently.
Since then, I’ve never looked at a door without my heart stopping for a second.
I never broke the rules again after that.
I took on my father’s familiar narrative with my own kids. “Shut the door!” “You’re letting the heat/cold/dog out!” “Your letting the flies/bees/mosquitos/bats, yes, *bats, in!” “Did you lock the front door?”
And they responded exactly as I did. No fear, just life in the moment.
I fervently pray evil stays far away from their own front doors.
So far, so good.
They’ve heard the front door story now. They live in their own homes with the their own front doors. I’ve warned them of the dangers. Do they live as though they learned from their mother what can happen if they break the rules of front doors? I don’t know.
Will they be safe if they live as if they don’t know? I’m not with them as they live their lives anymore, I have to let them go their own ways.
But, I fervently pray evil stays far away. Every single day.
* Regarding bats: They’re cute up close. Coincidentally they infested our home when I was reading, Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King, his story of bats turning into vampires. One bat found my hair interesting for a purpose I can only assume was to snuggle with me as I soundly slept. The poor thing probably died of terror that night when I took great offense at it’s presence in my hair. No one slept for the rest of that night. I sincerely think the bat died, because the next morning, my mother, picking up what she believed to be a leaf, started screaming for my brother to come dispose of the dead bat now in her hands. We talk of it still. Great fun.