xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: You lie

Sunday, April 21, 2013

You lie

I was getting my hair cut on Friday, I always go to the same guy, John, whom I have written about before. John is awesome and the salon is directly across the street from the school. I always end up making my appointments during lunch recess so I get to look out the window at my kids on the yard. John says I do that on purpose but I really don't. It must be Freudian scheduling.

Anyway, John is awesome and we always end up in these really deep discussions about parenting and such. He's my age but has a 21 year old daughter and one of his many pearls of wisdom is "having kids is like getting cancer. It immediately and irrevocably changes your life in a way you can't possibly predict, and unless you have cancer you have no idea what it's actually like to have cancer. And you would never tell somebody with cancer how to have cancer, even if you can imagine what it's like. So unless you have kids you need to shut the fuck up about it."

Have I mentioned how much I love John? Anyway, this time we were talking about Boston, and earthquakes, and fire drills, and that balance we need to find, as parents, between answering their questions and scaring the shit out of them. This is a particularly important balance for those of us who have kids that tend to... shall we say.... "obsess" about things like this. I mentioned that Child 2 had asked me what "terrorism" meant and that I had defined it but I was glad he didn't follow up with "will that happen here?" Because I don't know how to answer questions like that. The odds are that no, it won't happen here, so I should say no, but what about earthquakes? Earthquakes WILL happen here, we just don't know when or how big. Will our house fall down in an earthquake? Probably. There's a pretty good chance, actually. But I don't want my kids freaking out about that, so how to inform them without actually informing them?

"You lie." John says. "You fucking lie to their face, is what you do. They don't need to know the truth, they won't understand. And then when or if it actually happens you just deal with the consequences."

I get that, in theory, but I don't like to lie; it makes me uncomfortable. So I try to hedge around the answer and I end up fucking the whole thing up. Usually. Next time I'll just straight up lie and see how that feels.

Anyway, what do you guys do?