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.
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 me...is 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.