I told a white lie to my kids about what happened to one of our cats. If you haven't read about it, you can HERE. Anyways, I promised myself I would tell the truth, or partly the truth, this coming week. I decided to just get it over with and tell them today. I kinda told them the truth. I did tell them truth about her kidneys starting to go bad and that the humane thing to do was to have her euthanized. I did not tell them that I had her euthanized. I suppose that white lie was for me. I didn't want them to think I was a mean person for choosing to kill their cat. Yes I'm a coward.
I received a LOT of feed back about the initial white lie on what happened to the cat. All of it was great advice and points of view. It really made me think. Why did I lie about what happened to the cat? Was it for them.... me... or both? And was it worth the guilt I felt about lying to them? I'd have to say, yes - yes - and Yes! I lied for them because with all the death they have had to deal with in the last 4-5 years I wanted to soften the blow to them. I lied for me because I didn't have the heart to crush them like that. I mean how horrible is it to tell your kids, "Say bye to your kitty, I'm gonna go have her killed now."? Having the cat sent to an animal shelter that helps sick animals get better and then adopted was much better. Also having the "doctors" at said shelter determining she was in too much pain and not able to be fixed was less of a blow. I also lied for me because I didn't want to be the bad guy yet again. It was bad enough I said she had to go because she wouldn't use the cat box. I didn't want to be the one to have her die too. (that's where the cowardice comes into play). Was it worth the guilt? You bet your ass it was! I won't hide death from my kids. Hell I don't have to. They know full well what death is all about first hand. Anything I can do to help soften the blow to my kids I will most certainly do. I have told them the truth about what happened to the cat, even if I did lie, again, about who decided it. Like one follower said, kids are resilient. They have bounced back as I had only hoped they would.
Overall I'm happy with the outcome of this whole episode. I generally don't lie to my kids about stuff. As a matter of fact, most of my friends & family think I'm a bit too honest with them. I feel that if I'm honest with them they have a better shot at living a more balanced life. No matter what it's about... boys, our bodies, morals... I feel that if I tell the blunt truth to the best of my knowledge they will have an advantage in life. They won't be guessing about it or wondering if what they heard in the locker room after gym class is true or not. If I can make them aware of how things are then they will be better able to make sound judgement calls. Like "How does the baby get out of her belly, Mommy?". I told my then 4 year old the truth... " It comes out of the girls crotch." To which she replied with abject horror, "Oh My God! Yuck! I'm not doing that!". Now when it comes time to have the sex talk with her I will remind her that pregnancy can be a consequence of having sex no matter how much "protection" you use, and she will remember where that baby come out at and hopefully wait to have sex... If I feel they aren't old enough to know the answer to a question I just tell them that I will tell them when they need to know. Will my bluntness all work out the way I hope? Maybe, maybe not, only time will tell. I can only hope that my girls are comfortable enough to ask me anything and know that I will give them the most honest, unbiased, answer I can.
I don't believe in hiding life from kids, but if a white lie can soften the blow a little bit, to either them or me, you can bet your last dollar I will do it. My girls are the most important thing in my life. They have already dealt with enough in their short lives than any one person shouldn't have to endure. I do the best I can with the help of their father (who is an amazing dad by the way). I only hope it's enough. With all the positive feedback I get, it seems that we are doing okay with this whole parenting business. Thank you again to everyone who wrote in or commented on my confession.
So, does the truth set you free? Yes. That doesn't always mean you feel better. For better or worse though, you are free. No need to hide or keep up the lie. You can deal with the consequences and move on with your life in whatever way you need to.