My dear sister, Sonja has been at it again. This time she pours her heart out about something that most parents are guilty of! I love reading her perspective of our childhood and how these rather humorous situations affected her! Now she’s guilting me into changing my ways… – she’s using her “big sister super powers” on me!
Most people lie. Once in a while at least – a white lie, an omission, a twist of the truth. Of course I believed in Santa, the tooth fairy and the Christmas elves! I’m not addressing those lies backed by culture and tradition. The lies I met are much worse!
My Dad used to fish. My sister and I would go with him at times. Sometimes we had to be quiet, most times we had to entertain ourselves. I don´t remember us going together, most often it was one on one times with our Dad. But, no shouting, no scaring the fish! I would collect rocks. I would passionately want to own each and every rock I found. The only rule was that if I wanted it – I carried it! (Smart rule, Dad!!)
There was a limit to how long I could occupy myself collecting rocks. When the bag was full that was it! My Dad then encouraged me to catch sand worms. He said that I would have to practice and be quick! Speed was of the essence! Little did I know… It turns out that the big fat juicy worms I hunted were ALWAYS just too fast for me! Every single time I tried to catch them, they vanished into the water. It was like they dissolved in a cloud of sand. Hey wait – that is actually what happened! I was an adult by the time my Dad admitted his lifelong deception – I had been chasing the sandy excrements of the sand worms. The worms themselves were buried deep down in the sand! But it kept me occupied. I had fun. I applied myself and I tried to improve…. However, to no avail!
When I was 5 we emigrated from the States to Denmark. Imagine the trauma of giving away my precious guinea pig, Susan – to another family though. Maybe to a happy life on a farm?? (Oh no!) I guess that is why my parents opted for the easy way out with the goldfish. Over a period of 5 days, the 5 goldfish we had disappeared – one a day! Very mysterious! “Poof” – and one more fish was gone. My Dad told me that was how it went with goldfish! “POOF!”
I remember a specific biology lesson in 7th grade looking into the school’s fish tank. One fish was swimming belly up… All of a sudden it all came back to me! The lie! The deception! Fish don’t die with a “poof”… they float! And why had I never considered the fishing expeditions with my Dad where we caught fish and brought the home. No magic or “poofs” in our fishing…
Of course I confronted my Dad with his lie. The only apology I got was mixed with laughter! I am certain my parents only lied to us when the end justified the means… But still! I have overcome my sandworm / dead goldfish trauma by now! But I have tried not to repeat the lying to my children. And again, here we are not talking about the mythological figures of Christmas and losing teeth!
What lies have you been told? And even more important – what lies have you told your children?
Thank you for reading, please share your thoughts!