I tell great lies, crazy unbelievable tales, no sane person would believe, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Elvis, and Jesus. These stories are far-fetched, to say the least, but my children who trust me, they believe.
Don’t you dare? Don’t even start with me, missy! Puh-lease! You know you do it, your face will stick like that, the Tooth-Fairy, and The Great Pumpkin? Well, that last one isn’t a thing, but the others…
All the great moms lie. And if you’ve read this blog more than once I can assume you know:
- I am not that great, but I get by, just barely.
- I use whatever cheap tactics I can to get through the day.
So this is the truth, this blog was inspired by my brother’s delicate verbalization describing my phone voes to me.
Me: So you are saying that my phone doesn’t work and it is my fault?
Michael: I am saying that choices you have made have contributed to your phone’s inability to work in the intended capacity for which it was created.
Pro parent 101: Wording is everything.
And I have a new batch of babies. And I can’t decide if I am lying too much, or not enough, and I am questioning lies of old. Starting with Santa.
Our Luke, he’s the stuff real parents are made of, and he too inspired this line of thinking. He hit the ground challenging all that we knew about our parenting abilities. He was our third and he continues to rock our world.
When Luke started to question Santa’s existence and we sat down to have “the talk” with him he responded with: “So, should I assume you lied about Jesus too?” To which we were utterly horrified and then he refused to attend church with us while he, “decided for himself what the truth was since he obviously couldn’t trust us.”
He was 9.
Yep, that’s my son.
And yes, again for you loyal followers, he is the one we shipped to military school when he was 15 because, oh Lord, the Marines were the only ones who could make him stay in his room. And, I double dog dare you to judge me out loud. If you decide to trudge down this dangerous indisposition of parenting: “I would never…” or “You should…” please include your email address so I can attach the necessary paperwork for you to enroll your child in military school.
Just don’t. NEVER SAY NEVER.
I digress, what to do about the vandals, our adopted 3 and 5-year-old sons, and Santa… I truly struggle with this. Because it isn’t true. Furthermore, it is a big lie and confusing. “Don’t sit on stranger’s laps… well unless it is a guy in a Santa suit. Sit on his lap and tell him all your hopes and dreams, I will dash them later.”
And yes, it is all in fun and tradition. And I know that it shouldn’t be that big of a deal… and I am old to start changing things up now.
With the original batch of kids, we padded our traditional tall tale with the story of the real St. Nick, but the vandals birth into our family began with a tragedy. And I feel I owe them something… different.
And I tell other stories to them. If you could only see the goopy wax that comes out of Sam’s ears. This stuff is insane. And, it is brown. So when he was about 6 months old I took him to the pediatrician and bemoaned my concern. “It’s brown!” and the pediatrician said, “Yeah, just wipe it out with a warm washcloth.” and I said, “Is it brown because he is Mexican? Like, does it look like that because of his skin color?” and the pediatrician gave me a record book’s technical, “You are a moron” look and said,
Fair enough, I didn’t know?
But, this is nuclear waste wax. And now that he’s coming up on 6 it is harder and harder to hold him down to clean it. So, I lie. “Time to get the spiders out of your ears!” Sam hates spiders.
Oh, don’t look at me like that.
He will drop what he is doing and lay down and let me dig that goop out with a shovel. And! In all fairness, since the birth of the “spiders in your ears” lie, he has stopped having ear infections. I can put the wax dissolving ear drops in his ears and therefore, it was in his best interest for me to lie in order to get the sludge out of his ears.
Whatever, we will get him the appropriate counseling when he’s ready. But, surely some of you would agree, you do what ya gotta do.
I guess I can’t stop thinking about how hard the teen years are. The identity crisis, even with my easier teens, is somewhat unavoidable. And the vandals are little. I hope to teach them, like the children before them, that their true identity is in Christ, but I also know – this is their reality to embrace. You can lead a horse to water, ya da ya da ya da.
When the vandals begin to hit thirteen, I’ll be 54. Dealing with 13-year-old, adopted, sons will be a whole new territory. And they are cute and cuddly now and the community thinks it so dear that we have opened our homes. But, I am curious about how a community embraces adoptive families when these babies are at their most difficult? Or are questioning traditions, their identity, or Jesus?
And I know they need to know they are adopted, but I don’t want that to be their whole identity. As Christians, we are all adopted. In 40 years, I want them to describe themselves as Christ seeking men, who love Jesus; men who came to serve, not be served.
And their adoption into our family? A tiny portion of the magnitude of their existence and their impact on the least of these.
So, I cannot decide. And I guess I have some time. But I want them to trust us, and I want them to have traditions. I want them to have balance. As their mother, I want them to know who they are, where they came from, and why we raised them in a home that believes that Jesus is the Messiah.
Sure, I know they’ll be raised to believe that the ice cream truck only plays music when it’s out of ice cream and that balloons are a creation from the devil. I know these things haven’t damaged the grown children too badly… but Santa, and the other lies? I readily admit I just don’t know.
And I guess I’ll decide later, right now I must go get the spiders out of Sam’s ears.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God–“ John 1:12
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