Secrets and Lies and Promises

I’m thinking of this today because my daughter, Ms. Mini-D, is in big trouble. She, with her best friend, managed to pull the wool over the eyes of both sets of parents. The friend’s mother is completely livid with me and my husband for believing her daughter. I would like to believe my daughter, but she’s been known to have secrets and tell lies. Let’s just say that the entire thing is based on some pretty well-known character traits of teenagers. Amazingly, they are much the same as when I was an adolescent. These items of contention include sex, drugs and rock and roll.

The friend’s mother has some written documentation as to the bad behavior of Ms. Mini-D. These are in the form of notes passed back and forth during school, and written in my daughter’s hand. The mother has informed me that she will give me the notes today. I told my daughter, whose reaction pretty much told me that the mom was right and not some kind of alcoholic-induced wacko like the two girls led us to believe last week. It ranged from “if I tell you what’s in the notes, will you shred them?” to “Mommy, you’re looking wonderful today, how’s your day going?” (A tip: the former revelation of honesty will work far better on me than the flattery of the latter.)

I’ve had the “secrets and lies” talk with her before. I would rather know the truth than have her tell me a lie. After all, I’ll find out about it eventually. In addition, I pride myself as being fairly liberal minded. I’ve invited her to share the minor details of her life, but have never forced the issue. She’s almost an adult, so I give her the benefit of the doubt. I know she thinks I’m stupid and/or judgmental. This is a phase that may pass as soon as she gives birth to a nine pound baby. Giving birth to a nine pound baby changed my outlook on my mother for the positive.

This morning before leaving for school, she reminded me that I promised I would shred the notes. (I did promise to shred them, but I didn’t say when.) I was fairly vague about my promise yesterday. Being a mother provides one with a lot of poetic license as to what the job entails, and that includes maternal promises. Besides that, I could always plead menopausal symptoms and temporary insanity. I know I didn’t promise not to give them to her father. He tends to look at his little girl like a “little girl” and not like some gangsta’s ho, which is how she sometimes dresses, or like a conniving female, which she sometimes is.

I personally don’t get the entire thing about lying and cheating. I’m not speaking as some holier-than-thou Bible thumper, although I do have a few years of Catholic school under my belt. Lying and cheating are not only bad ethically, they’re also empty actions that do not gain the liar or cheat anything. I’m pretty old, but I’ve found that it’s far easier to be forthright. Lying and cheating involve a network of support that’s flimsy at best. It’s exhausting to uphold.

Let’s just say that no good can come from it.

As for promises, I tend to keep mine. However, I reserve the right to change my mind. That’s what being a woman is all about.

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