Monday, April 06, 2015

I lied

I just had one of those moments as a mom.

I am sure there will be many more to come. And I have, in fact, already had many of them with my second-born. But with my first child, we have not had many moments like this yet. Until tonight.

Let's back up and give a bit of the background. On Friday, Jeremiah had a friend over for a playdate, a boy from his class. This boy told me, toward the end of the playdate, that Jeremiah has a solo in the community gathering coming up on Monday. "...Um, the what? He has a solo? What is this, is it a concert? Can I come?" The friend looked at me pretty matter-of-factly and said, "well, yeah, I think you could come, it's just a community gathering." To which I replied, "Why has no one told his family!?"

He just looked at me. "But I just did."


You did, son. You're absolutely right. But, in an adult world, I feel like the music teacher or his classroom teacher or someone at the school, or, I don't know, maybe my own SON would have informed me of such a momentous occasion as a music teacher's child having his very first solo!

But, no one did. And I meant to email them and find out more information. But I did not.

And then briefly remembered last night that I needed to remember to attend this community gathering in the morning.

But guess what I forgot to do?

Not only that, but I didn't even remember that I forgot to attend until my brown-eyed bean pole of a 7 year old boy looked up at me when I finished checking his teeth tonight before bed and asked "did you think I did a good job with my song today?"


I contemplated for, maybe a full five seconds what the consequences of lying vs. not lying would be...and then I lied into those trusting eyes and told him, yes, you did a fantastic job...I was so proud of you.

And he beamed and said (a bit uncertainly) ,"I didn't even see you there."

And I lied some more, saying I had to scoot out quickly afterward.

He kept prying, in his innocent way, wanting more information. Why did I have to leave early? Where was I sitting?

And it snowballed, as lies often do. And I felt sick. Not only had I missed something that I could never get back, but I had disappointed my son in, now, more ways than one.

I ushered him upstairs and we prayed and sang a song, and he told me he loved me more than all the blades of grass in the world...and I couldn't keep it up. I told him I had to confess something to him.

I told him I had lied to him, and I wasn't there this morning and had forgotten and I felt terrible and then I lied to him to make him feel better that I wasn't there, but that was wrong and I am so very sorry and can you ever forgive me?

He turned his head from me and sobbed into his pillow. It was a feeling I have never felt with my oldest until now. 

I had let him down.

But, after a minute, he turned his red face to me and said, "I forgive you for everything."

My beautiful boy with a big heart.

I hugged him and we talked for a while about how I didn't want there to be dishonesty between us, and how mom forgets a LOT of things right now, how even adults aren't perfect, and how he can help remind me ("I can tell Dad, and he can help remind you, Mom!"), how we can maybe reenact the solo so mom and dad can hear it, and how this does not in any way mean I don't love him. He seemed to accept this fact, and I hope somehow that God can use this for good.

I feel like a heel.

This just makes me sad on multiple levels. I CAN'T BELIEVE I MISSED MY SON'S FIRST SOLO. I can't believe I didn't even remember something that was so important to him.

But, unfortunately, I can believe that I lied to him about it.

What is actually a new thing for confessing the lie to him. Not that I've lied to him about things very much at all, because I haven't. But, if I have a pet sin, lying is it. Especially what we in polite society like to call "white lies." It is so easy to use them to get out of accountability:

"Oh, I'm just swamped right now, can I call you back later?"

"Sorry, I ran into some traffic. It's pretty bad on route one right now!"

"Oh, yeah, I sent it in this morning!" (quickly runs back and puts letter in the mail that afternoon)

I tell myself I'm doing it to spare others' feelings or worrying...but really I'm doing it to save my own face, name, and reputation. And it's absolutely wrong and it's absolutely sin. And I do NOT want to set a precedent of that with my son.

I was caught in the wrong, and I lied to him. He forgives me, God forgives me, maybe I can forgive myself here someday. Jeremiah's disappointment in my absence there this morning is now mingled with his disappointment of his own mother lying to him. Two wrongs do NOT make a right.

But thank you, Lord, for giving me the courage to confess to him. May you use this, somehow to work out your glory in him and in our relationship.

While I feel like a terrible mom, I think this way is better than letting him believe I was there...because he really seemed like he did accept my alternate truth before I confessed the lie. Who out there disagrees with me? Is this not a big deal? For me, it came down to conviction. I felt the Spirit prodding, and I obeyed. And pray that God will use my brokenness to shape my son better than my pride could.

1 comment:

Growing Together said...

Jen, I am just now finding this, and it has brought me close to tears! I know the painful feeling of knowing you let your child down, even when they don't realize it, and then knowing you have to own up to it. But even though it was hard, there is beauty in confessing mistakes to our children. I thought this story was truly beautiful because your love for him is enough that you'd rather be open and honest than "save face". I'm sure it's so hard to let go of the guilt on this one, but remember, God is not surprised by anything and He uses ALL things for good. Your boy will grow up knowing his mom is not perfect, and that she takes responsibility for her mistakes. What could be better than that?
A few months ago, Chloe was playing with a dog that had already bitten her once before. She had the dog cornered in its crate, and I am not familiar enough with dogs to realize the severity of the situation, though I did think I should go get her. I hesitated just a few moments while I tried to decide if I was being "crazy mom" or not, and in those few moments, she was bitten pretty badly. She is probably going to have a permanent scar on her nose. Every time I look at it, I think about how I failed her. But, I am also comforted to know that God never does. And she ultimately belongs to Him. Praise Him for that!! I love you!! :)