Today I lied to my son, and it wasn’t just some little fib. I straight-up looked him in the eyes, and told him a bald… faced… lie.
We were at the grocery store and I opened the tailgate of our crossover (which I only call a crossover because I don’t think it’s a car, but I don’t want to admit to murdering the world with an SUV).
There, in the back, in all their glory, were all sorts of shopping bags filled with toys. Now, most of them were pink and purple toys which are waiting to be wrapped for a Sub for Santa family (which I only tell you because I love the program, and I highly encourage any of you with means to become a family’s sponsor this year).
But, Noah… somehow he didn’t see any of that.
No, he zeroed in on this single sack, mostly buried amongst it all, with toys meant for him. They were some of his Christmas presents. And he called me on it without blinking or breathing. “Dad, are those my Christmas presents?!” he so gleefully screeched.
And that’s when I panicked. And became a liar.
Here’s the thing.
I have the hardest time lying, and anyone who knows me knows when I’m doing it.
His face got all big. He grinned like an idiot with an Ace. And, he called me on my bluff. “It IS for me! It is!”
And that’s when I really panicked. And lied to cover up my lie.
“Nope, sorry pal. That’s for…” Gosh. What is wrong with me? I hesitated. I hesitated so badly. I suck at lying. And he interrupted my hesitation.
“Me. It’s for me, Dad. I’m not stupid.”
And that’s when I really, really panicked. And I lied to cover up my start of a lie which I told to cover up my first lie.
“Noah, those toys you saw were for a kid who has no parents and no food and pretty much nothing in the whole world. You’ll never see those toys, but isn’t that cool that someone who has nothing will get something amazing?”
Wow. Way to go, Dad. Go from limp-brain to pompous prick, preying on the idea of poverty and need, in t-minus nothing flat.
It didn’t matter. I suck at lying.
“Dad, that would be nice. But I already know they’re for me.”
Thanks, Pal. How about letting your dad save face next time?
At that point, I gave up.
We got home. He walked into the house. He pointed beneath his little Christmas tree, and he said, “Dad, you may put those presents right here.” And then he began laughing.
Whatever, Noah. You think you busted me? I’m going to go find a kid who has no parents and no food and pretty much nothing in the world. So there.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing