In some kind of moment of weakness, I prompted my son to hold a secret. I had let it slip that his basketball team was going to have a surprise pizza party for their season-ending gathering. I knew as soon as it left my mouth I had let the cat out of the bag. So, to protect my ego, I kindheartedly suggested to him to not let mommy know that I had told him that. I am always letting cats out of bags when it comes to my son, and on this day, I somehow wanted to put it back in.
What was I thinking?
A day later, being the honest kid he is (thank goodness), he let it spill to his mother that he knew about this pizza party. I overheard the conversation between the two, and I fessed up.
This whole situation really was not a big deal, but it reminded me of the power that secrets can have. I was disappointed in myself for letting my ego get ahead of myself to create that secret, but I was even more disappointed for dragging my son into it.
Secrets are forbidden in our house.
We realized very early in our parenting that having an open relationship regarding not holding secrets from each other would be the only way to protect our son from abusive relationships. We couldn’t protect him from every monster in the world as most monsters live within the confines of friends and family whom prey on trust. The only way we could establish a safety net with him would be to ensure that whatever he is involved in, he can tell us anything without persecution. This removes the power that any abusive predator could possibly have over our him. Secrets will not be safe with him, but he can always trust us with them.
Secrets are the next worse thing to a lie.
To hold a secret is not much different than telling a lie. When you are not disclosing the entire truth and are withholding information that would otherwise aid a situation, then you are saying a lie. Full disclosure is paramount to building trust, you cannot hold a secret and be fully disclosed. Politicians are always guilty of this and who trusts those people.
Being open and honest with everyone in your life enables you to never have to remember what you have said in the past. When you hold a secret, you always have to keep tabs on who knows and who doesn’t, what an awful waste of energy and time. Most secrets have been handed to you by someone else, why waste your energy bearing the weight of that knowledge? We have enough shit going in our lives, holding secrets is just one thing we don’t need.
I felt so awful about handing my son that secret which is why I had to write this post. I am so proud of him for not keeping it.
Our relationships would be much more enhanced if we all made a vow, to be honest, and open with each other. I know all about this, I had held a very difficult secret for two-thirds of my life, and by the time I exposed it to those I love, it nearly destroyed every relationship I had.
…and it wasn’t even my secret to keep!