Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Sacred Parent's Room

I remember never stepping foot into my parent’s bedroom. It was a sacred and off limits place. I didn’t even allow my imagination to try to penetrate the mystery of its interior.

The incident
Ryan, a little friend of my son stopped by today. He asked for a mirror, so he could see himself with a funny hat on his head. My mum sent him into her bedroom, the closest room. He looked into the room, but didn’t step any closer. His face showed a mixture of curiosity and reluctance to step over privacy boundaries.
I said, ‘In you go, its ok.’ And he walked through the threshold of the sacred place.
Watching him threw me back in time. I haven’t seen a child hesitate at a bedroom door for a long time.

What happened to the sacredness of the parent’s bedroom, and why was it presented to me as sacred in the first place?
From my perspective, I’m a bit of a communal dweller, so all spaces are for exploration in my house. You may keep a draw or a box to yourself – not for all eyes, but the rest of our ‘things’ are the use of the entire family – to any reasonable extent. In my previous house, we had only one bedroom, and Jett used to sleep there. I used to sleep in the lounge/dining room, so there was no effort at sacredness. Anything I wanted to keep from Jett, that was of an adult nature, was kept aside.
So, perhaps, houses with less space could contribute to an impracticable application of sacredness.
But what about my mother? The same room I felt incapable of entering, my son Jett has no trouble viewing her space as his space. And she says nothing to stop him.
I don’t know why the parent’s room was off limits before. Perhaps there were more boundaries than there are now?

Entering The Room
There were two reasons when I was allowed to enter the inner sanctum. That was when I was sick and needed something for my throat, and the other time, wasn’t actually me, but my brother. I was on the outside looking in. My mother, it seemed to me at the time, thrashed him on the bed (for setting fire to the cupboard). She says, in her own defense, that she only hit him a couple of times and she was beside herself so wasn’t accountable.

So the parent’s room became a refuge for the sick and the wicked.

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