Christmas, Truth, and Childhood Innocence

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Childhood innocence eventually becomes a thing of the past. If we’re lucky, it becomes fond memories and reason for nostalgic reflection when we’re adults or the need to keep that innocence alive in our children for as long as possible.

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Last week, my almost 10-year-old son asked me two innocence-ending questions. The first was about the existence of the tooth fairy. He doubted it and said he was pretty sure we put money under his pillow and took his tooth after he went to bed. Jonathan and I had already agreed to tell our kids the truth when they ask questions like that, so I told Drew the truth—that he was absolutely right in his assumptions about the tooth fairy. He thanked me for telling him the truth and moved on. I knew that more questions were coming, especially the most dreaded one about Santa.

Five days later, all hell broke loose at my house when I was asked the dreaded question. I countered Drew with a question back, asking if he really wanted to know. He claimed he did, but I was still reluctant.

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Being Thankful in Life

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Something I always stress to my children is to be thankful for what we have.  My family is not without struggles, but we are truly blessed. My husband and I have good jobs and enough money to provide for our family and pets. We have a lovely home where we are sheltered from bad weather, safe, and near beautiful scenery.  We work hard and appreciate what we have.

Now comes the struggle: teaching humility, humbleness, and appreciation in our children, who have never gone without anything they’ve needed. I talk to my children about the charities and nonprofits to which we regularly donate. I explain the reasons why it is better to give than to receive. I just hope that some tiny nuggets of wisdom about those things transfer from me to them as they grow.

When I asked my children to tell me what they were most thankful for at our Thanksgiving table, they each said they were most thankful for their family. That made me smile because it was exactly what I wanted to hear. I didn’t want to hear them say they were most thankful for their video games, tablets, or toys. While they have many things, my children don’t always get what they want. Continue reading

I’m a liar

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Hello, my name is Brandi, and I am a liar. But we all are. I can’t think of any person unless they are an infant or non-verbal child or adult who hasn’t told a lie at some point.

There are different types of lies.  White lies are my specialty; harmless lies often used to spare someone’s feelings. Malicious lies are different, used to get someone else into trouble or to protect yourself from trouble. I don’t make a habit of maliciously lying because I do have a conscience. I see the grey area with those types, which is where lies of omission live.

Being a parent has turned me into the biggest liar I can imagine, for example:

Child (said in high-pitched whine): “Mom, why didn’t you order breadsticks?”
“Because they were out.” —This response works often.

“The Tooth Fairy/Santa won’t come if you’re not asleep.” —I am the Tooth Fairy and Santa and would be the friggin Easter bunny too if we did that in my household.

“Sure, that loud, obnoxious toy is waterproof; you can take it in the tub with you.”—Oh, damn, my mistake. Sorry.

“Wow, honey, that drawing/toy/joke/back-flip off the sofa, etc. was amazing/great/spectacular!”—No sense in crushing all their dreams all at once.

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