Mama, You Lied???Posted: July 12, 2013
I lied about my son today.
We took the Taters cross-country to see Latke’s parents this week. We had a great time, the kids got spoiled, all was well.
On our return flight, I sat by myself with LP, while Latke had the girls across the aisle.
As I sat down, the man by the window smiled and reached out for LP’s hand. I have to admit every time a stranger takes an interest in LP I still have a moment of trepidation. I don’t blurt anything out anymore, but I still hold my breath for a second, waiting for that whiff of scrutiny.
Mr. Stranger seemed nice. I apologized ahead of time for any yelling LP might do during the flight. He said he had his own kids and seemed genuinely tickled when LP grinned at him. I mean, who wouldn’t be charmed? The kid has an infectious smile.
So I relaxed. We made some small talk, Mr. Stranger pulled out a book, we both settled in.
All of a sudden, he looked up and asked, “How old is he? Three months? Four? Does he laugh yet?”
And before I knew it, I blurted out that he was six months old. LP is not six months old. He is four days shy of eight months old.
I am not sure why in that situation, of all situations, I decided to lie. I’ve never done it before. In fact, I’ve felt open to a lot of awkward conversations about T21 and seen them through, with positive results.
Or, I can tell you how I felt. I just didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to carefully parse my words, to gently suggest to Mr. Stranger that milestones don’t really mean anything and that maybe it is just a wee bit rude to go and ask a total stranger where her kids is developmentally. I didn’t want to have to consciously decide to smile instead of rolling my eyes. I didn’t want to have that fleeting moment when I debate whether to utter the words “Down syndrome” and wait for the flicker of pity.
But… I don’t really have an excuse, and it really shouldn’t be about my feelings. It was selfish. I lied only for my comfort, and I’m sorry.
Truthfully, I don’t actually know how that conversation would have gone, had I chosen to tell the truth. I had no idea where our conversation would have ultimately gone. I let myself get worn down by other people’s frustrating comments that I let myself judge that stranger based on nothing to do with him.
Sorry, Mr. Stranger. My kid rocks. You could have rocked, had I given you the chance.