So, I have been trying to instill honesty into my students. In fact, there is a giant sign in my class, which reads, “Honesty is the best policy”. The first story I told them was the story of me lying to my mother as a child about stealing money from her purse to play store, and how I was rewarded for telling the truth with fake money to play with.
But this week I came to the conclusion that … sometimes I lie for the right reasons. As I reexamine my childhood embedded with lessons of honesty, a few moments stand out that have really defined who I am as a person. Both of these times, a person I trusted lied for the right reasons.
1) My grandmother once threw a Baby Ruth into the pool and convinced us someone left a giant turd behind. Nobody likes being submerged in any body of water near a soft nosed brown trout. We were horrified. One point Grandma.
2) On the first day of 5th grade, my childhood dog was very ill. After breakfast my mother told my sisters and I to go and say goodbye to Chelsea because she was going to take her to the vet that day to be put to sleep. Ten years later, I found out Chelsea died as I was munching my Cheerios and the loving Kathy Adams took us out to pet a dead Golden Retriever so that we wouldn’t miss our first day of school. Kath even pet the pooch herself so she could move it back and forth to simulate breathing. Off to school we went. Moms know best.
I now find myself in similar situations.
1) I found a new hobby for my free time… phantom texting. I enjoy sending texts from my unknown number and signing them with different names… beware. You may have 37 people show up at your house in clown costumes because “you” invited them.
2) School is no better. The children go through fads of bringing toys that are not allowed to school. Every now and then, due to school policy I confiscate toys. Finally after one student asked if I give the toys to my children, I tried to convince the class I actually throw theme parties with the toys on Saturdays. So far I have had a slingshot party, a balloon party and soon I’ll have a Pokémon party.
3) When the statement “that is dangerous”, may not motivate an impulsive child to stop doing something, I sometimes find myself starting a sentence with, “I knew a guy who…” Sometimes the guy I knew fell through a roof or got an eye poked out. One common denominator is that there is usually blood and guts involved.
If there is anything I learned from mom and grandma, it’s that lying can make your life more hilarious and simpler.