I know I’m not the only chick who had the nerve to participate in pro-creation rituals and 9 months later stared panic stricken into the eyes of a “baby blob” wondering; what on earth have the hubby and I gotten ourselves into? Fortunately the Big Guy upstairs is, from time to time, gracious enough to offer up incredibly refreshing moments that let us know that maybe we aren’t doing such an awful job of raising our kids after all.
One such moment that sticks out for me is when “The Boy” was about 11 years old. We were at dinner with two of his classmates and their moms. As usual the boys got into a spirited debate about football and their favorite players. At that time “The Boy” was a big fan of New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush. But the other two thought Reggie was soft in particular because of a brutal hit that had left Bush staggering and cock-eyed in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. “The Boy” wasn’t having their put downs and quickly rattled off a series of stats and other pertinent info about Bush’s football skill set that shut down the grade school critics. “Yeeeah!” I silently cheered him on from across the table for being able to back up his position with facts. Not happy with being outdone the classmates instantly turned their sites on “The Boy” and began snitching about some of his less than stellar behavior at school including cussing! To my son’s great dismay, his closest “friends” began ratting him right in front of his Mom! Heck I was just as shocked as “The Boy,” “Is nothing sacred?” I wondered.
My son regained his composure and did what any kid in his position would do, deny, deny, deny. For the rest of the meal and on into the parking lot he listened to them tell story after story about him saying one foul word after another in class, on the playground, at lunch, you name it, they told it. The more he denied it the more they snitched. Finally he’d had it. “The Boy” suddenly stopped, looked me in the eye and said very deliberately, “Yes Mom, I do cuss sometimes and I’m sorry!” I saw the imaginary boulders fall from his shoulders as he turned to his tormentors, beat his chest, jabbed his hands up in the air in victory and shouted, “Now what? I cuss and I told my Mom! Now what?” His sudden burst of honesty fueled by anger momentarily left all of us speechless. I was beaming with pride on the inside at his sudden decision to use truth as his weapon of choice. I wanted to join him and beat my chest and ask, “Now what?” But for appearance’s sake I kept my “mom” composure.
Once inside the car though, I burst into laughter and gave “The Boy” a hearty high-five! I was happy back. The snitches had emptied both barrels on him and my li’l dude dug in and took them both out with one shot of truth! They never saw it coming. I could never have come up with a better way to teach my son, and remind myself, about the power of truth and how it does indeed set you free!