Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Let Me Tell You 'Bout The Birds And The Bees... And The Party In Bill Clinton's Pants

The only birds and the bees I was thinking about were flying around Los Angeles when my almost five year old asked, “Mommy, remember that picture when your belly is big because I am inside it?  How did I get out?”

(Clearly an early pregnancy pic, but I couldn't resist the brag about my dog's perfect timing)

Wishing I had been in a Taxi Cab Confessional rigged with lipstick cameras instead of my SUV filled with Diet Coke and fruit roll ups, I fumbled for an age-appropriate answer that would satisfy her curiosity.  But I did not lie.

I chose “I went into the hospital and a doctor helped me get you out”, and if any of you take issue with that, you can keep your reproductive organs to yourself.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the little mistruths I tell my girls.  They aren’t big, but make life easier and often healthier for all of us.  Something like “Sorry girls, the W (their pet name for Wienerschnitzel) is closed” can work wonders.

Lance Armstrong said a major motivator in his decision to come clean was that he could no longer lie to his growing son.  Bill Clinton had to tell the world (and Chelsea) that he really did have a party in his pants, to which only Monica Lewinsky was invited.  And one of my all-time favorite athletes, Oscar De La Hoya, finally admitted to a dark history with drugs, alcohol and... much more.

Obviously the list goes on and on, both in and outside of the spotlight.  We are all human.  The question is whether I want my children to know that, and when.

Do I want my kids to know what happened that college night at Dick’s Last Resort, or what caused me to think that the melons in my hometown grocery store were engulfing me?  Yes, eventually.

I can get rid of photos and take down the blog posts, but I don’t want to.  Hopefully, we learn from our mistakes.  Hopefully, we become better people and better parents because of them.  And, hopefully, our children are stronger adults for it.