Why I Choose A Broken Doorknob

Doorknob on a red door.

How long will that doorknob stay secured?

I’m eight years old. I pick myself up from the living room floor.

I’ve been looking at the ceiling too many times.

I want to make it to the dining room, but my desire has nothing to do with hunger.

My brothers and I are playing goal line stand. H&M (no, not the store, but my two oldest brothers) stand in the five-foot-wide gap that separates the living room and dining room.  N (my next older brother) and I take turns trying to get past my brothers.

We jump. We run. We dive.

You see, it’s first and goal at the one. And N and I are determined to do our best Wilbert Montgomery impersonation and score a touchdown.

Every once in a while H&M let us score. It is thrilling for me.

Believe it or not, getting thrown down by my older brothers — who at that point were nearly a foot taller than me and 50 pounds heavier — was So Much Fun.

I would have been happy to play that game every day.

My parents did not enjoy it nearly as much as I did. After all, their four sons were playing football in the house. This is not exactly a typical indoor activity. But being the parents of four boys, you know things in the house will get broken at some point.


I was on the bus and nearly home. “Hey BR.  What’s up?”

“Um. SJ  broke the doorknob.”


“SJ broke the doorknob.”

“Which one?”

“The one that goes from the den to the kitchen.”

“How did that happen?”

“He ran up the stairs and grabbed it and it fell right off and now it’s broken.”

“Why was he running?”

“I don’t know.”


“Well, he was on the computer and I wanted to go on the computer.”

“So you chased him?”


“He’s okay.”



“And, he broke the door handle.”

“Okay, I’ll speak to him when I get home.”




And then I went back to reading the paper.

You see on the richter scale of house destruction, a broken door knob is near the bottom. It’s just below knocking over the lamp and breaking a light bulb and just above chipped paint.

In other words, a broken doorknob is a minor inconvenience and the price of doing business.

What business you may be wondering? Well, it’s the business of raising boys.

If I were to get upset at every nick, scratch, and mark, my boys made there would not be enough blood pressure in the world to keep my heart from bursting through my chest. By the way, did you notice that two words for minor destruction also are boy’s names?  You’ll be happy to know that my blood pressure is low.

While I did talk to SJ about the doorknob when I got home, I have no grand expectations that things will change. Instead, I accept the boys being boys – rough-housing, destruction, and rowdiness. Either that or get rid of my boys.

Which would you choose?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/33224129@N00/3472489546/”>AlwaysBreaking</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

14 thoughts on “Why I Choose A Broken Doorknob

  1. Ha ha. I didn’t connect the minor destruction to the names till you said it.

    I agree, a broken doorknob is pretty low on the list of damages. Not nearly the end of the world.

    Once when YItzchak was a kid he and three of his brothers were home, along with 2 friends. The three (maybe 4?) youngest started making holes in the walls. As in, every five or six inches there were two holes, each about half an inch wide. For six feet of hallway wall. In a house that is a historical landmark.
    Their father got home, saw what had happened, lined up the six boys and spanked them with his belt one by one. It was the only time he actually used his belt instead of just threatening.

  2. Why did you have to have a talk with SJ, it doesnt sound like it was his fault. It sounded like it just fell off. What would bother me more is that BR ratted out on his brother. If J ever called me to tell me something A did or visa versa it would upset me.

    • Yes, BR wants to be another parent especially when it comes to getting his brother in trouble. We have talked about it.
      I just brought it up to SJ. I would bet he does not even remember the conversation. I do agree that it was not entirely his fault.

  3. Oh, how I love this post!! The doing business of raising boys… I love your attitude towards it, and really, if you did worry about every little scratch or broken doorknob you would be focusing on the wrong things.

    And hats off to your mom and dad – 4 boys! Wow, I thought it tough with only two, I can not imagine four. 🙂

    • Yeah, I sometimes wonder myself how they handled it. I am nearly certain that I couldn’t.
      How’s school? I am so excited for the break!

  4. I raised two boys. (They are 23 and 26 now.) For years, I constantly had neighborhood boys around the house. Lots of action! Yes, things got broken. No big deal. I have a soft spot in my heart for boys.

    We were watching home videos about a week ago. My older son commented on his younger brother’s energy level, “Wow! Was he ADHD or what?” I actually missed it when my little ball of energy turned teenager — too cool to jump up and down. 🙂

    Someday, if I end up with granddaughters, I’ll have no idea what to do with them!

  5. I think that, technically speaking, it’s unethical to get rid of children over a broken doorknob. So you’ve chosen well.

    Doorknobs are at dangerous heights for little faces; I’m glad he didn’t break off any teeth or anything in the process.

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