Thursday, September 30, 2010

Behind Closed Doors

I have a confession to make.
When I drive around, especially at night,
I like to look into windows of homes as I pass by.

No...I don't stop to peer into the windows,
I just grab a glance as I travel by in the car.
And then I wonder...

Being a child of the "Leave It To Beaver" and
"Father Knows Best" generation, my fantasies
of what's going on behind the closed doors
always plays out in my mind as an idyllic family setting.

I envision children playing on the floor
while Dad reads the newspaper and Mom is knitting.
The dog and cat are snoozing by the fire.
Old fashioned, I know.
But a girl can dream, can't she?

I often wondered why I always felt that way.
It couldn't all be due to a few TV shows, could it?
Here comes another confession.
It's easier to see that picture in my head as I don't have
a husband, or a mom or dad anymore.
I have had to redefine a "family", which wasn't something I'd ever thought I'd have to do.
But I did.
So, in essence, I want everyone to have what I don't have.

But then I listen to the news.
Or I read something on Facebook.
Or I get a phone call late at night.
And I'm shaken into reality.

Things are not always what they seem
People sitting behind those windows warmed by the glow of the light,
are dealing with the realness of life.
Sure, life is wonderful.
But it is also real.

Everyday, people are dealing with illness, cancer, death,
domestic abuse, substance abuse, a mouthy teenager,
money troubles, etc.
Those same people may go out each day trying to wear a happy face
so we might not guess anything is wrong.
Maybe they feel ashamed.
Maybe they are embarrassed.
Or maybe, they are trying to protect us from their pain.

Some days, they may not seem "themselves."
Maybe they are irritable, edgy, short tempered.

Hopefully, we can remain tolerant, patient, compassionate.
As we never really know what goes on behind closed doors.

1 comment:

Kandi said...

I am a window-peeper, too. But only in the car at night. It's not like I go creeping up to the windows or anything like that...that's the reason I always shut the shades at night! ;)

Another thought-provoking post, Jill. From the outside looking in some people's lives/marriages seem so perfect. But they never are.

It's a good lesson when someone is cranky to you that you don't know what they are going through. I need to remind myself to calm down and pray for them instead of reacting in a negative way back at them...