privacy + security

The windows in her daughter’s room are bare, which is usually the case when I’m called out. Four walls of lavender, a white ceiling and trim, and peach picture molding sends me back to having my first unshared bedroom. It was lavender, I liked eating peaches, and I wore white cotton underwear.

One window is to my left, facing the neighbor’s kitchen, and three windows straight ahead face the street. The installer knows that when he receives the shades, he’ll be installing them left to right as he enters the room, so the window facing the kitchen is the first one I measure.

I get friendly with the window, leaning my body against the glass, trying to level the beam of my laser measure. My arm is kinda twitchy and needs to be anchored. I don’t usually lean.

I see movement across the way in the neighbor’s kitchen. There’s  a little girl 3 or 4ish, with an ear to ear grin, round face, thick brows (the kind I want), wearing an orange paper crown with a large “3” on it, probably done in black permanent marker. There’s also a woman. Her back is turned, giving me a view or her brown ponytail and blonde highlights. Her hair color choice is atypical for the bay area. I feel like I’m back in Pico. She waves one latex gloved hand back and forth, back and forth, similar to the motions people make when they’re trying to get their dog or baby to look up for a picture. Her gloved hand gives the girl a high five and goes back to waving, back and forth, back and forth.

Maybe they were painting. The glove looked clean, though. And all the while, there was a background dancer – a swaying wooden rocker. All I could see was the pine colored laddered back.

It was a beautiful, candid moment, distracting from my work. The laser trembled as I tried to sketch the memory into my brain for a proper drawing later on.

That will be for my personal use.

For my professional use, I will turn the moment into an example of why privacy and security is needed in a child’s room.  The next time I’m in a nursery, child’s bedroom, or play area, I will share this story of having a perfect view of the neighbors. You never know what kind of laser beaming professionals are watching.

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