Remember all those half truths your parents told you to make you behave? Cross your eyes and they'll stay that way. Misbehave and Santa won't come this year. Boys have cooties. We all use them. Easy lies to avoid the bigger conversation. I'm as guilty as the next mom. I tried recycling a half-truth the other day on my six year old Pixie.
At a stop light, a man crossed the street in front of our waiting car. "Mom," Pixie said slowly, "that man is kind of chubby."
"You can't say stuff like that, honey." I replied. "Did you know that once you get to heaven, everyone will know everything you've ever said or done, including that man?"
Pixie turned pale. "I'm so sorry!" she stammered. "Will he know that I'm sorry?"
"Yes. But remember to always speak nicely."
So that was that. I'd used an old lie (or maybe it's true?) that had worked on me as a kid to keep my own spawn in check. With only the minimum required amount of guilt, I put the incident out of my mind.
The next day I was working in my sewing room when Pixie came in. "Remember that guy yesterday... who was a little... you know..."
"The man at the crosswalk?"
"What about him?" I asked.
Pixie gave me a wistful look then said softly, "I hope he goes to hell."
And there it was. Rather than have to face all the people who she'd ever said anything less than flattering about, Pixie had begun damning them all to hell instead to save face. Just another tick mark on the score card of my awesome parenting. Go, me.