Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Kids can be counted on to tell the unedited truth. I was in Walmart several years ago when my middle daughter, Alli, was about 4 years old. Alli has always been compassionate, so my heart swelled when she went right up to a lady riding on one of those scooter things and kindly asked if her legs hurt. The lady smiled big and admitted that yes, her legs did hurt. We were all touched for a second until Alli looked up at me and said loudly, "Mom! That lady has a moustache!" We walked away.

SOMETIMES, it goes the other way, and the kids choose not to tell the truth. There is one fib that will always stick out in my mind. We moved from the Des Moines area to Waterloo in 2004 when TJ got a job as a professional firefighter. Our oldest daughter, Emma was in the middle of her kindergarten year. Our youngest daughter, Gwen, was born a few days after we moved here, so it was a stressful time for us all. See how cute Emma was in kindergarten?

When we got to Waterloo, Emma joined kindergarten at St. Edward's Catholic school. A few months later, TJ picked her up after school and overheard a boy say to his mom, "That's the girl whose sister died in a fire." The mother immediately shushed the boy and turned away. It seemed like he may have been talking about Emma. Weird, right!? We went to parent teacher conferences a few weeks later and asked the teacher about it. That's when we found out that Emma had stood up in front of her class and told them that her baby sister died in a fire, and that we had moved to Waterloo in order to get away from all that. What????

Marvin, the child psychologist, told us there was nothing wrong with Emma other than being a little dramatic. He also recommended we read the Sunday comics...I'm not sure why, but Marvin really loved the Sunday comics. He especially like to quote Calvin and Hobbes. I didn't see how that would help us keep our daughter from telling people they had a baby sister who died in a fire, but I've got nothing against the comics. Here's one for you, Marvin.

Anyway, we moved to a different school district and thought that was the end of the "my baby sister died in a fire" shenanigans. But SEVEN YEARS later, I went on a girls weekend. One of the other ladies on the trip had a daughter who had been in Emma's class at St. Edward's. And guess what? She still believed that we'd had a baby that died in a fire! I'm sure there are still people out there who believe Emma's story, but I want to set the record straight. If I seemed happy, it was genuine. I wasn't putting on a brave face and going home to grieve. There was no fire. And thankfully no dead baby. :)

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