Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Tangled Web

"Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies" -Fleetwood Mac

Therin asked me the other day if I have ever lied to him. I defined lying and explained about little white lies and how sometimes when someone asks you "does this makes me look fat" they really don't want you to tell them that they are fat they just want a to know if they look good (I also told him the answer is always "You look beautiful") We then got side tracked when he listed 3 or 4 cartoons that had a character who asked that loaded question to other characters and how the other characters in the stories reacted. Then we talked about what would have been a better reaction and then we were at the store and I never really answered his question.

So, have I lied to him?


But I can't really give him the answer that question. Not yet. But I will. I'm bogging about it first so I can get my answer straight in my head. It's always worked better if I write things down before opening my mouth. I rarely get a chance to do it and since I've been let of the hook temporarily I'd better take the opportunity. Is this a form of lying? Probably.

"Shoe box, shoe box of lies...from my first little fib when I still wore a bib to my latest attempt at pretending I'm someone..." -Barenaked Ladies

I can't remember all of the things I've "lied" about to him. Not that I lie all the time but that what he perceives and what I perceive as a lie may be two different things. Have you seen Galaxy Quest? It’s a spoof of Star Trek with Tim Allen playing the Captain Kirk character. At one point the alien species they are trying to save finds out that the Commander and his crew are really actors. In the alien society no one lies. Ever. Nobody pretends, does make-believe, or uses their imagination to tell stories. The only being that they have encountered that has lied to them has also destroyed their home planet and all but a handful of their people are left. When the evil alien forces the actors to reveal the truth, the good aliens are crushed. More than just disappointment that their heroes are not who they thought they were their world was destroyed because they believed in something that wasn't real. . . a lie. All that is left of their home is a spaceship the good aliens created aIl because of the TV show that they mistakenly think is real. It is a tragic moment in a funny movie. Right now in Therin's world nobody important to him lies I am afraid of crushing him. I know that all children go through this at some point in time. In Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie it's those first little disappointments that pave the path to adulthood. What keeps Peter young forever is that he forgets the disappointments. I am a storyteller. It is part of my profession and I love to do it. What magic can be found in a story and the truth can be found in fiction is what draws me to books and storytelling. And, yet, technically stories, make-believe, can be perceived as a lie.

What about Santa? What about the Tooth Fairy? What happens to them? If I tell Therin now he'll ruin those fun fictitious fantasies for Rowan & Brenna. I'm probably going to have to try and break it to him gently before he hears about it from kids at school. That will be awhile considering that he spends recess & lunch by himself (hopefully that will be addressed in the IEP on 1/29).

I always get caught in a lie.

I have a hard time lying. That is: telling straight out non-truths to your face. My friends & family know immediately when I am lying. (Go ahead, this is the time to post those embarrassing stories in the comments field guys). My friends DJ & D used to live in the house that my family is currently living in. Therin & their son went to the same school and we didn't change their address when they moved out and we moved in so that he could continue going to school. DJ knew this lie by omission was eating me up and so she took pity on me and gave the school their new address. They had to change school districts. Sigh.

This next story isn't me - but it could have been. A person I know was doing a good deed for her daughter. Cable was acting funny and since her daughter was at work she called the cable company and pretending to be her daughter so it could be fixed before she got home from work. The cable company told her it was because the bill was late and the cable had been turned off until it was paid. She said that she'd pay it. Then they asked her for her Social Security Number. Well, she didn't remember her daughter's number so she said that she didn't have it handy. Well, she had to do a lot of swift thinking to explain why the name on the card she was paying with wasn't hers (see, definitely not me - I'd get flustered or caught here) finally after much story bending was able to do a good deed for her daughter.

"No I would not sleep in this bed of lies" - Matchbox Twenty

I've been working on this blog for a few days now and I still haven't fessed up to Therin about lies and lying. I am afraid that this will be the only experience that he will generalize. My fear is if I say, "Yes, I have lied to you" he will automatically assume that everything I have EVER said is a lie. Mommy = Liar One moment will negate all of the "I love you's" ever spoken. Most people will assume that that I am overreacting but they probably don't know Therin or haven't worked with autistic children. When I read "The Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" by Mark Haddon (without spoiling the plot for those of you who haven't read it yet) Christopher, a 15 year old boy with autism, discovers a couple of rather large lies that his father tells and has such an extreme reaction that he pushes himself out of his comfort zone to seek a person in another town and try and find them alone overcoming sensory integration problems, sights, sounds, touch, smells that are all overwhelming to him because the person who loves him the most, his father, lied to protect him from emotional harm. I think this will make a good read-aloud for my kids someday.

Teach Your Children
by Crosby Stills Nash & Young

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.

Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Teach your parents well,
Their children's hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

I think I'll let him bring up the subject. If he does I'll ask him why he wants to know and either speak directly to his query or explain very plainly first that if someone has lied that doesn't make everything that they have said a lie.

1 comment:

Krystal said...

I'd just lie and say "no".