Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Beneath The Stairs

So years ago my granddaughters began this love of the little room under the stairs.  Many times they are coat closets. Almost always they have a door to the crawl space on the floor. Now most people call that area a closet. But not so in our house. A closet might not be what it seems.

Years ago I lived in a house with a stairway with a landing. The closet under the stairs was huge. Coats lined the front of the closet, but when the coats were pulled back, a wonderful playhouse was revealed. The little ice cream parlor table and chairs sat in the corner with a small lamp on top to light the area. Pillows were tossed in a corner. Dolls sat ready for an evening meal. Stuffed toys and bins of toys waited for small hands. I'm sure that when the light was turned off and the door closed the closet came to magical life. It certainly did when the girls went in to play. The hours flew by when the girls pretended they lived in the little house beneath the stairs.

In my last home, Sydney found a space in the water heater closet where games and crafts were stored on a rack. It was a space only big enough to allow her to curl up with a pillow behind her back and a book in her hands. She claimed it as her space.

Syd and I were concerned that Gabby didn't have a space for herself since now she is sharing a room with Mom. We agreed that the coat closet just might be the perfect place. Mom bought a purple zebra striped blanket for the floor to cover the crawl space door. A pillow rest was placed in the corner. A bag of books, pencils and magazines, posters on the walls and ceiling and two battery operated wall lights finished off the space.

Gabby immediately fell in love with the closet as did her sister. Soon both were packed in the space giggling and enjoying the space away from adults.

Yesterday I popped my head into the closet to see if everything was indeed turned off. The girls had gone home with Dad. In the middle of the floor was a notebook with three words scribbled in large letters on it.

"Stacey, did you see what is on the floor?" I asked leaning out of the closet door.

"Uh huh. Wasn't sure what to make of it," she answered.

I picked up the note book: I Am Jeses.

Hm. Maybe that requires two. Hm. Hm.

"Does that say Jesus," I asked my daughter.

"Sorta looks like it," she answered.

That was precisely what I thought.

"So who wrote it," I inquired.

"Not sure," she answered.

The next day I asked both girls who had written the cryptic message. Both denied it. Now I can tell when my granddaughters are working their way around something. Not a glimmer of  "I really did do it" sparkled in either girls' eyes. Another Hm.

Stacey and I are still trying to figure out who wrote the message. Once in awhile I open the door wondering if another message would appear. Maybe I watch too much Harry Potter. We're pretty sure it didn't come from Sydney and have decided that it might not hurt to be really nice around Gabby.

The room under the stairs. Ah, a kids' paradise. Hm. Did I say paradise?


  1. Very interesting ... and a little spooky, too. I have two great "closets" under the stairs. One is my "holiday" closet, filled with all my decorations for each holiday, but the other is pretty open. After reading this, I'm thinking I'll leave it open and unfilled, ready to become a play room for my grandson (and any others who follow). Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  2. Lisa, so nice to receive your comment. My granddaughters have loved the little spaces that are all theirs. I found it fun to decorate the little area for them. Great place to store toys ready for play.

    Have a wonderful holiday season, Lisa.