I woke up this morning when I heard a door down the hall open and close. I looked at the clock, it was 6:12 am. My alarm was set for 6:23 but going back to sleep seemed pointless. So I stayed warm under the covers listening for the sounds of a house waking up, until it was time to get out of bed.
I expected to hear water from a shower in the basement. I didn't. Darn kid, I thought, he went to bed promising to take a shower in the morning (even though I would have preferred he took one after he got home from rock climbing last night---rock walls are full of ick).
As I made my way downstairs I mentally prepared myself to be a little disappointed that he was heading off to school "dirty" and with greasy hair. I despise greasy hair.
But I did not mentally prepare myself to start off the day with a lie.
"So did you shower?" I asked, pretty sure I already knew the answer.
"Oh, great", I thought to myself, maybe I only thought I hadn't heard the water running. Why do I always expect the worst?
Wishing him a quick "good day" and a "see you later for conferences" I headed down to the shower myself.
First clue that something was not quite right: Bath mat was in the same position I left it the night before. What are the odds of that?
Second clue: There was not a drop of water on the walls, floor or door of the shower. It's got to be close to impossible to take a shower and leave no visible sign, especially in 10 minutes....
Third clue: Water in shower once I turned it on, came out freezing cold (it would have been warm if it had already been used once that morning).
I ran to the bottom of the stairs and yelled up : "You did not shower!"
Instead of admitting to the stupid lie right then and there, he went and made things worse. He lied again.
"Yea, I did, at like 6:00 am." He shot back.
(As if I was stupid enough to believe that the shower would have dried out in 30 minutes).
Why do my kids think I am so clueless?
"You got up at 6:12, no way did you take a shower at 6:00," I hollered up now irritated that this whole conversation was even happening.
I have posted before that I hate lies. Lies are ugly. Lies, whether they are big ones, little ones, white ones or green ones, are wrong. They change the dynamic. They hurt people.
I start out by giving someone the benefit of the doubt, trusting, believing, having your back--until you hit me with a lie.
Admitting to a lie right off, shows me a bit about your character. The guilt, which normally hits a person in the gut as the lie rolls out, should be obvious in your immediate apology after getting caught.
But making the lie worse, by adding to it, also shows me a bit about your character. Now I see how easily you added onto that lie, indicating your capacity for deceit, and lack of guilt.
Guess what? Now, I don't trust you.
If you are willing to lie about a little thing like a shower, then you might be willing to lie about big important things. In my mind, you are now more apt to lie again, and what if you've already been lying to me?
So what happens next? I will watch closer, look for signs of other lies, I can't help it. I wanted to trust you, darn it, completely, totally... but now we will have to work to build up that trust again.
It's not impossible or anything, all hope is not lost, it will just be harder. It just requires more work on both our parts.
"Why did you lie about taking a shower?" I asked.
His response was: "it was just a shower."
NO, it was just a lie. And that is a whole different story.