We, meaning Papa John, Nana (Me), and Aiden were on a road trip this past weekend. The three of us always have a good time; Aiden just happens to like his grandma and grandpa enough to spend a lot of time with us.
We had stopped to eat lunch and when back on the road we noticed a produce stand, which I always have to stop at like some people have to go to yard sales. Aiden and I got out of the truck while Papa stayed in. While I shopped Aiden, being the little boy he is, tromped out to a nearby plowed field. When I finished the two of us piled back in the truck and we headed out of town.
After searching in vain, John pulled over on the highway and I did a more thorough search. I got a sinking feeling that I’d lost my $200.00 phone and preparing myself for the hassle ahead, not to mention the embarrassment of doing something so careless. Aiden kept saying, “Calm down, Nana.” He also said, “You know you are forgetful because you're getting old.”
A day earlier he had made me laugh with a similar comment. When I did something, I can’t remember what. he’d patted my arm and said, “Its age, Nana, its age.” I laughed at that then but this time I feared he was getting a little to close to the truth. Apologizing to my husband as he made a u-turn so we could go back to the stand to look, I felt like I was too old to be making such a mistake.
Back in the truck a silent Aiden received a tongue-lashing from a Papa who very rarely disciplines him. As we continued on our way Aiden felt the weight of our disappointment and kept quiet for many a mile. Sometime later I spoke up. I told him I was very upset not only because he had taken my phone without permission, but hurt because he had made me feel as though I was responsible. He had also made it seem as though I was old and forgetful (a mortal sin in itself!). However, I continued, he had been brave enough to tell us the truth; he’d made a mistake and admitted it and for that I was very proud of him. I told him that we all make mistakes and the mark of a person with character is when they can admit it and face the consequences.
Eventually, our boy came around and he once again participated in our road trip adventure.
What his actions reminded me of is when I was around his age I did something that caused me to tell a big ‘ole lie that I eventually had to admit to. It was awful and a memory that is seared in my mind.
I don’t recall getting punished or even a lecture, but I do know I learned a big lesson that day: Telling the truth is scary but a lie takes on a life of its own.
I hope Aiden retains this memory so when his own child has to decide on telling the truth or not, he or she will have enough faith and trust in their father to make the right choice and Aiden will remember his own childhood moment of truth.