JJ came wandering into the kitchen tonight, looked me square in the face and said “Mom, I need to tell you that I lied.”

Well alrighty, then.

“What did you lie about?”

“Remember last week when I told you that I accidentally knocked the jar of gumballs off my desk and it broke? Well, it wasn’t an accident.  I kinda’ hit it with a baseball bat because I was having trouble getting the lid open.”

Would’ve loved to see the plans he discarded, thinking the baseball bat was the better option….

I appreciated his belated honesty (and was, quite frankly, amused at his ingenuity) and decided that for once in my life I wasn’t going to get  wrapped around the axle and make him sit through a fifteen minute speech that would somehow mention “jail” one or twenty times because it was enough that  he discovered that he couldn’t eat gumballs laced with shards of glass and I figured the lesson was learned.

So I said, “Thanks for your honesty, honey.  It’s always better to tell the truth. And next time, just ask me to help you open it. Okay? Thanks. ”

I went about my business cleaning the kitchen and noticed that Tommy, seated at the bar, was acting quieter than normal.  He was twisting side to side on the bar stool, a very worried look on his face.  Then his eyes started filling with tears and then he said, “I can’t take it any more.  I have to tell you!”

I couldn’t imagine what he had to confess but judging by the look on his face I could tell that it was a Very Big Deal so I patted him on the back and told him that he could tell me whatever it was.

And I wasn’t quite prepared for what came out of his mouth.

“I KILLED SIMBA!” he wailed.

Wha??? Our cat that died years ago?

“Honey, you didn’t kill Simba.  He died of cancer.”

“I GAVE HIM THE CANCER!” he said, crying hysterically.

“How did you give him cancer?”

“I didn’t want to tell you because I was sure that you’d be so mad at me.  He was in the kitchen and I was playing with a bottle of glass cleaner and I thought it would be funny if I tried to spray him and I just meant to scare him but some accidentally got in his face and that’s why he died.”

It took me twenty minutes to reassure him that Windex doesn’t give you cancer and bless his heart, he was a wreck.  “Mom, I was worried about keeping that a secret but I didn’t tell you because I thought you would be angry.  I wasn’t going to tell you about it until I went to college.”

I can’t imagine the burden this child has carried with him for so long.  And as I mull over the events of the evening, I’ve wondered how much I contributed to the situation.  How many times have I overreacted to their mistakes?  How many times have I yelled first, asked questions second?  How have I fostered fear in my kids instead of trust? And how can I fix this going forward?

It looks like the kids aren’t the only ones that learned a lesson today.


13 responses to “Confession

  1. Oh, that poor baby! Thank goodness he decided to “confess.”

  2. Oh bless his heart! Poor fella.

    The fact that both boys fessed up tonight shows that you are a GREAT mom. Consider it a blessing that both of them will sleep soundly tonight because their momma was available for confession.

    Now, go to the front door, open it up, and throw the mommy guilt out in the yard. There’s no room inside for it tonight.

  3. Poor guy!

    …and thanks for sharing this lesson…I need to learn it too.

  4. Yes, thanks for this! It’s wild the things we hold inside…
    God is teaching my husband and me lots about grace, and this reminds me that I need to extend it to my kids as well.

  5. Oh.My.Goodness! This is precious!
    We are on the heels of a similar confession in our house. I needed to hear your life application. Thanks for posting this!

  6. Go rent the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding … he will be cured of the windex phobia.

  7. Poor guys…

    And as a mom I’ve totally been there…yell first and ask questions later seems to happen too often around here. Thanks for this. 🙂

  8. What a sweet story! And yes, throw the mommy-guilt out…that is just Satan accusing. God uses these circumstances to refine us, not destroy us. As moms we all make lots of mistakes, but God teaches us to show grace by them & by His great grace & mercy.

  9. We have a policy of “you don’t get into as much trouble if you confess” and my kids have occasionally used it to their advantage to avoid what they know is certain punishment. And they have made a pact with each other that at Thanksgiving dinner after the youngest turns 30, they are going to confess all the secrets they’ve been keeping, either things they agreed to not rat each other out on or things nobody else knows. Should be an interesting dinner.

  10. I’m all teary-eyed for him! Bless his heart!!!
    (and LOL @ Blackhawk’s suggestion!!)

  11. Bless their little hearts. I would say you’re doing a great job for them to “confess” their wrongdoings. Poor Tommy! Imagine the guilt he’s been living with.

  12. Jeez, I’ve gone soft. That sent me into a puddle of tears. What a beautiful story, and what an amazing momma to pay attention when God whispers. You are so cool.

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