Pressure Drop

When my children were very small, they were relatively transparent.  With the exception of the mysterious times when sleep eluded them or unruly behaviour was the only way they could think of to express something, once the mystery was solved, the diaper was changed, the tylenol or the snack was dispensed or the nap was caved into, they went back to being transparent.  They told me directly (most of the time) what their motives were all about. (I am just painting the walls to welcome Santa, I flushed the spiderman down the toilet etc...) 

We were the ones who held our cards close to our chest. We'd sprinkle their day with little white lies to prop ourselves up and get to our destination (Sorry, the pool is closed today...This soup has no vegetables in it...I am so busy planning a really big slide that I cannot make a little slide today.)

Inevitably, their transparency has clouded a little and our own cards are falling from our hands.

As they learn to say things a certain way to ensure that a friend or one of us does not get hurt, and as their motives being more layered and obscure (to us), we begin to feel propped wider open to their knowing gazes.  They've learned about white lies.  With just a twitch of a line on my face, they pick up on a pressure drop and they swallow what it was that they were about to bring up.

As I give up controlling the facial twitches, they take up tugging on every line.


  1. woosh. that is an important transition. i wonder how easy (for adults) it will be to return to the land of 'no white lies'... not even the white ones ... the probable sadness in watching the kids pick up on adult communications is mixed with that ineffable something... that they too will re-learn the no white lies when they cycle back to it...


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