When the boys were younger, I did what every self-respecting parent does, I taught them about honesty. I taught them that telling the truth – no matter the circumstance – is easier than trying to keep up with a lie. I think I forgot to tell them that sometimes keeping your mouth shut is the best approach.
Yesterday, I got my hair highlighted. As I mature in age, my hair has grown increasingly darker and there are these annoying gray follicles that appear out of thin air. Every few months, I sit with foils so that I can erase some of the aging evidence. Bailey was kind enough to point out – as I sat looking like an alien from another planet – that while I look ugly now, he thinks I will be pretty once it is all done. Thanks, son! Honesty tip number one…….don’t tell someone they are ugly and then try to regain traction with a half-assed compliment.
When my second son arrived home from football and his own hair appointment, he came into my room and said, “Did you get your hair colored? It looks gray. I mean, it really looks bad.” With an all around observation, I would say that he gets an “A” for noticing, but an “F” in his delivery. And, it isn’t coloring, it is highlighting. Sigh….. I pointed this out to him and he promptly responded, “You taught us that honesty was the best policy.” Damn it…..he was listening. So, I retracted that statement and used some examples of where honesty is a no-win situation. Bryce hasn’t had a girlfriend and I want to save him from the agony of being punched in the face, plus someday, I would love grandchildren and that won’t happen if he is “honest” about EVERYTHING. I gave him scenarios of when to keep your mouth shut. He rolled his eyes and left the room.
For the record, my hair looks fantastic and he is a seventeen year old boy who potentially will never have a girlfriend with his honesty policy. Sometimes we prepare our kids and forget that there are loopholes in almost every teachable moment. It is confusing and it is a process that they have to learn for themselves. Bailey learned it last week when he called a coworker “ugly” and Bryce is learning it this week by essentially calling his mom a hag. Well, that is what I heard anyway. It is a good thing I love these testosterone filled young men because they give me lots of reasons to breathe in the good shit and exhale the bullshit.