Lessons From Behind The Door

My daughter and I set out to replace a doorknob at her new apartment today. It was my first time ever replacing a doorknob (never too late to learn new things, right?) as well as hers.

Over the course of the past week, she had been beginning the process of replacing the doorknob but had some questions. Since I had planned to visit her today and help with some other tasks, we decided to tackle the doorknob as well. I arrived equipped with all sizes of allen wrenches (because we had figured out that one of the hurdles was those little tiny screws holding the cover plate on).

We set about removing the old doorknob. We were being all methodical about it, laying the pieces out in order as they came off (because I figured that might give us some insight into the process when we needed to install the new doorknob).

We were in the process of unscrewing the long screws which hold the whole mechanism together. One of us held the door; the other loosened the screws. Eventually, the door closed against the pressure of the screws being loosened and components started falling off as the screws were loosened. That didn’t seem like a problem.


Through a combination of funky creative allen wrench manipulation, prayers, screwdriver wedging actions, more prayers, and willing some law of physics into submission, the door finally opened (hallelujah!). It was time to tackle the new doorknob.

As we tried to make sense of the instructions for the new doorknob, we finally took advantage of the fact that it is 2015 and there are people out there like Leah of See Jane Drill who make videos like How to Install a Doorknob.

Thanks to See Jane Drill, the process went pretty smoothly once we took some deep breaths and followed the steps she gave.

The realization of the day which most spoke to me came when we realized we were trapped in her room. Our choices after that unlocked a few takeaways which could apply to life beyond a DIY task:

  • It is oh-so-easy to inadvertently segregate yourself from most of your options
  • Adversity will bring out your ability to manifest effective options you did not think existed
  • Humor brings much more lightness to an adverse situation than anger would

Lessons From Behind The Door

I guess we could have avoided this whole blogworthy experience by hiring a locksmith, but where’s the learning (or fun) in that? She won’t have to wait until she’s 50 to learn how to install a doorknob and I have to admit being a little proud to have figured it out too.

I am feeling courageous enough to tackle some of See Jane Drill’s 161 other videos.

See Jane Drill’s motto (which gives me flashbacks to Bob the Builder) is You Can Do This!

Mostly, I am proud to be parent to a young adult who is willing to learn alongside her mom, one who knows she can DO THIS! 

12 thoughts on “Lessons From Behind The Door

    • So true, Maria!!! The frustration was very real, but it felt like a real turning point in the mother daughter relationship that we both took it in stride, as adults, and figured out a solution.

  1. You’re really, really brave.
    (Some people might use other adjectives here, but my mother taught me the importance of being kind. 😀 )
    And you used other words, but what came to my mind was the old saw (tool pun) about necessity being the mother of invention.
    You had motivation on your side, and that’s for sure! Good job!!!!!!

    • “The old saw”! That’s awesome! It was pretty comical and definitely all worth the laugh now that we’re no longer locked in! 🙂

    • I wish I had some brilliant words of advice on that one. I always hated when people would say (before my kids were teenagers) “oh just wait you don’t realize how good you have it now.” At the risk of oversimplifying, I guess the best advice is “enjoy every age.”

  2. Good for you both! I have no idea how to change a doorknob and neither does my daughter. We both could cook a great meal, however, while someone fixed it for either of us!

  3. That is SO funny! Reminds me of the time we were viewing the house we live in currently. My son was about 8 and curious about everything, naturally. He loved going through all the empty rooms and just looking around. Until he went into one of the downstairs bedrooms and accidentally locked one of the doors! Fortunately, he didn’t lock himself or us IN, but the poor realtor had to contact the owner and have him dig around to find a key for it or no one would have been able to view the bedroom. That was pretty embarrassing!

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