There are a variety of favorite rooms in Carter’s life and he describes them to us. In classrooms, he enjoys learning about numbers (the number 211 is his favorite). It’s here where he plays with his friends, swaps pretzels, and shares toys. If the weather is right, you can find him out-of-doors, hanging out with his good friend Hunter on the slides or swings at recess. The rain sometimes keeps students indoors, and that’s the opportune moment for Carter to explore his fascination with locks.
One of Carter’s classrooms is host to a box of different locks and keys. No stranger to the satisfaction of matching the right key with the right lock, he sorts through keys, trying the tumblers of one lock and, if it doesn’t give, moves on to the next. Maybe Carter imagines the types of rooms these locks belong to. For instance, a room painted his favorite color, lime green. He fits the correct key into another lock, perhaps for a room that hides a heated swimming pool since he enjoys swimming but hates when the water is too cold.
All this talk of doors and locks brings up a fond memory for Carter. He tells us about the swimming pool at the hotel he stayed at when he visited Disney World. Even the gates around the pool didn’t escape his attention, and he ensured they were all locked. He remembers his hotel room number, 706, and explains the door was keycard access only. Carter says he was drawn to a sliding door in the room and enjoyed opening and closing it. The rides and attractions of Disney aside, it sounds to us like Carter was living his best life at that Best Western: plenty of computer time at the hotel’s business center, a short workout on the treadmill at the fitness center, and enough Coke, Pepsi, and ice to satiate the patron saint of all locksmiths.
In our very frank discussion with Carter about doors, locks, and keys, it’s evident to us that Carter lives through whichever room in which he currently finds himself. No square inch is taken for granted, and every entrance and exit is cataloged. We can’t tell if he’s plotting an escape or an infiltration, but the current room, wherever it may be, suits him fine for now. Carter loves passing through doors, though— he’s waiting for the bounce house the school hosted a few weeks ago to return. Once it’s back, you’ll see him kicking off his shoes and socks before rushing out the door to join his friends.
As our time with Carter comes to a close, we’re struck by how many metaphorical doors through which he’s already walked, and how many more he will courageously claim in the years ahead.
No stranger to the satisfaction of matching the right key with the right lock, he sorts through keys, trying the tumblers of one lock and, if it doesn’t give, moves on to the next.
Carter Konrad is a force of many words and fascinations. The recent renovations at the school have him focused on doors; office doors, sliding doors, and doors with mysterious locks. When he sits down to talk to us, he wants to know why there’s a piece of pink construction paper over the principal’s door. He demands we recognize that Principal Mesnard’s door is broken. Without a proper door, he would most likely argue, how does one move from one room to another?