Photo by: Shutterstock

Little White Lies

by Lisha of "The Lucky Mom"
Photo by: Shutterstock

Yesterday, I sold myself out.

The Caboose had a concert last night, the ‘final exam’ for his chorus class. It was at 7:00 P.M. at a church about thirty minutes from home.

My Mother-in-Law (who lives with us) has been having some medical issues this week, and my husband and I thought it best that she stay home and have her visit with the home health nurse. Knowing she’d be upset if she found out he was performing and we weren’t taking her, I did something I’ve never done before. I told my son to lie.

I wrapped it around an explanation that, albeit true, was justification to disregard one of the standards I hold highest. At least I did, yesterday.

Since we’d be leaving the house just a few hours after getting home from school, she was bound to ask where we were going. And in his chorus uniform (dress clothes with a tie), a casual explanation wasn’t plausible. I suppose we could have just snuck out the back door in stealth mode, but there would still have to be an explanation why the sitter was staying late. I felt trapped by ‘The Truth,’ so I made a judgment call. And I lied.

We all tell lies. We really do! “This is the best cake I’ve ever tasted.” “I can’t make it in to work today.” “I’m sorry, I didn’t get the message.” We rationalize the lies we tell by pretending they’re harmless. We justify their use by the goal we’re trying to achieve.

As adults, we live in a world where things are not always black and white. We rely on experience and outcome to make judgment calls at times. And we sometimes lie in the process.

But at eleven years old, he doesn’t yet have the body of experience – or understanding – to make those calls. I told him that it was okay to lie because the truth would hurt her feelings. I packaged it up neatly in a way that would make it easy. I then engaged him in the process, we told the cover story, and left.

On the way to school this morning, he was first to bring it up. “It felt weird lying to Grandma last night.”

I told him that I thought so, too, and that we shouldn’t do it again. But the fact of the matter is that we will have to do it again, because she can’t do everything we do. I’ll just have to make sure I have a better plan next time; one that doesn’t require his participation.

And I’m now left to wonder where else he’ll apply this new ‘standard.’

“If it doesn’t hurt anyone, it’ll be OK.”
“She’ll never find out, so why not?”
“I’m only lying because I don’t want to hurt her.”

So, ‘The Truth’ I used to hold in such high regard is now reduced to a standard I’m willing to sacrifice for ‘The Greater Good.’

I sure wish I could get a do-over on this one.

What do you think? Is it okay to tell a lie in certain situations?

Lisha Fink is a wife and mother from New Orleans, Louisiana, who strives to find joy in the midst of chaos. She is determined to make responsible adults of her three children – even if it kills them. Please visit Lisha’s blog, The Lucky Mom.

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