An Important Lesson


Tyler’s room in our old house had a closet, in the strict definition of that word, but not in any functional definition. Her closet was at most 12 inches deep. It had two rods, one on each side of the door, that only barely accommodated hangers. Needless to say, Tyler didn’t use her closet much.

In the new house, Tyler has an actual closet. I recognized quickly that this was new for her, and that she didn’t know how to make it work for her. So I spent some time with her, helping her to hang her clothes and explaining that process that I use to decide what goes into a closet and what goes into a dresser drawer.

Tyler’s an active young lady, and she doesn’t sit still for too long. Consequently, me explaining things to her usually results in the information going in one ear and out the other. I could tell this was happening as I spoke, but then something happened which caught me completely unprepared: “Tyler, do you know how these different hangers are used,” I asked, as I help up a plain wire hanger and a wire hanger with a paper sheath along the bottom bar. “No,” she said, and looked straight at me. “The one with the paper on it is for pants. The one without paper is for shirts.” “Hang on,” Tyler said earnestly, “let me write that down.”

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