True Confessions

July 8, 2009 at 1:50 am (Uncategorized)

I’m a little wary about sending this out into the ether, but I’m going to do it anyway. Are you ready for it? You should maybe sit down.

In the same day, I missed my son’s parade and taught my daughter to lie.

In fact, the two events were, as you might have already suspected, related. As we walked up to the school and it became apparent that we had, indeed, missed the parade, I tightly said to my daughter, “You will NOT mention that we missed the parade.” As Henry came running over, I threw my arms around him and said, “Sweetheart, you were wonderful!” He grinned, but then looked a little worried and said, “Mommy, I didn’t see you.” To which I responded, “Well, there were a lot of other mommies…maybe you just missed us.”

At this point, Riley, who is, as we all admit, a pretty smart cookie, chimes in, congratulating Henry, talking about the parade, in fact elaborating on it to such an extent that I figured Henry, also a smart cookie, would catch on.

But he didn’t. He was fine. He was so pleased with himself that he essentially re-created the parade with his school-made hat, shirt and noisemaker all the way home. Which made me feel a little better, but not totally.

Henry with my mom, who also missed the parade, as did my dad and my two daughters.

Henry with my mom, who also missed the parade, as did my dad and my two daughters.

So not my proudest parenting moment. But I did follow up.

A little later in the day I felt compelled to talk to Riley about what we’d done, about what I’d forced her to do. At the tender age of six she learned the phrase “white lie.” I explained to her that Henry would have been devastated, absolutely gutted if we had missed the parade, and that by pretending we hadn’t missed it, we saved him from having to bear the burden of our (my, or maybe my husband’s [but that’s another post]) screw-up in missing it. She totally got it. She’s so empathetic, it made perfect sense to her. Maybe when she turns out to be a chronic liar this episode will come back to haunt me, but I kind of doubt it. With apologies to Mr. Lincoln, I just don’t think honesty is always the best policy.

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2 Comments

  1. Jim said,

    Sooner or later the truth will always come out.

  2. batsinthebelfry said,

    well, the kid needs SOMETHING to talk to his therapist about when he’s 35, right?

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