In the kitchen. White doors but instead of white handles, 1980's signature cheerful red and cheap MFI design. This was the only cupboard you could not manage to open, empty, rearrange or mess up because we kept a piece of string tied on the handles. A house we lived in for five years with the cupboard-you-could-not-open, filled with cherished events of which He is the author.
We were three when we moved in and five when we left. Two more precious lives erupted onto the scene and into our story in those years. Your not so little brother very nearly made his way into the world, next to that cupboard-you-could-not-open. The fact that his shoulder got stuck during the journey towards birth probably prevented another kind of red spilling all over the kitchen floor that morning.
Throughout daylight hours your brother required almost non-stop feeding and provided golden opportunities for you to perfect your mayhem-creating skills while I was not looking. When the Health Visitor called, you were surreptitiously sticking all the clean new toilet rolls down the toilet and as she left you twinkled your ‘it wasn’t me’ blue eyes at her. You managed to break several fridge locks resulting in uncooked omelettes on the kitchen floor on more than a few mornings. A cursory rubber-gloved hand down a blocked drain indicated that you had been posting most of our teaspoons and a large amount of sand from the sandpit down the chute, over a period of time.
In flitting between the cupboard-you-could-not-open, cooking tea, with your brother in his near permanent place on my hip at this time of day, I managed to melt a cake box on top of the grill. The birthday cake inside was unharmed, but the box was a sorry molten plastic mess, which took forever to scrape off the cooker.
By the time your sister arrived just 21 months after your brother you two boys played together more and gradually the cupboard-you-could-not-open became less important to you. It was also safe to start leaving the string off the handles, since the cupboard-you-could-not-open never held the same fascination for your younger siblings.
Your sister almost from the moment she could sit up became a ringside participator in your games on the red carpets. Red carpets in two rooms that meant pink knees on almost every garment of crawling infants. There was that Sunday night when she first giggled from her bouncy chair during the madness of trying to bath three children in oily eczema-treating gunk and put them to bed without Dad in the house. A sweet glockenspiel tinkle chiming in over usual fraught thoughts and a pulling back into the moment to participate in these messy times, not just endure them.
So you see this house with the cupboard-you-could-not-open holds precious memories I never, ever want to forget.