People try to spare their loved ones from pain. That’s why their loved ones. I do it. You do it.
Sometimes we just spare them because they’re not ready. Like little children. So when my 6 year-old twins hear Mommy and Daddy discussing the recent events of Tiger Woods caddish ass-like behavior- I spared them.
And used it to my own advantage.
Me: “Remember it’s always worse to lie?”
Our kids get 1 1/2 x the punishment for lying about something they did wrong- my husband & I feel you need to take responsibility.
Got that Tiger? Taking personal responsibility.
Them: “Yes Mommy.” (in unison, very cute and endearing with twins… )
Here is the teaching moment.
Me: “Well Tiger Woods lied. It was wrong and he’s in trouble. He disappointed a lot of people, especially his wife and family.”
And now the obvious next question… which I wasn’t thinking about- I blame it not on having coffee and being really freakin’ tired this morning but it was totally my own doing.
Smarty pants son: “Why? What did Tiger do.”
Me: “He kissed another girl. Not his wife. When you’re married, you simply don’t kiss anyone else…”
And that, folks, is how I spared my kids.
They don’t know what sex is, nor what commitment and fidelity are, women who sleep with married men, the ego and hubris of pro-athletes, “lawyering up,” prenuptials or morality clauses.
Nor do I want them.
I was also recently spared by my parents. A call by my mom yesterday letting me know my father just had a pace-maker put in. First I’d heard of it. Now my father is being treated for skin cancer. Chemo, radiation, leukine treatments and surgery et al. and he’s doing great.
Now I’m in Boston and my folks are in Southern California. I know they didn’t want me to worry. I should have know something was up- Dad recently had an episode where he landed in the ICU because his heart rate was elevated. (I also found out about that because I happen to call him while he was there. So precedent was set.)
But the pace maker? Totally out of left field. Mostly because I assumed I was informed. I was in the know.
But that, was the not what I needed. I didn’t need the sparing. Because now I will worry. Of what they are not telling me.
I don’t like surprises. My mantra is “Plan for the worst, hope for the best.” So, of course I now am planning for the worst. Past experiences have made me very, very wary of being spared. Mostly because it either means someone doesn’t want me hurt or they are really sparing themselves dealing with the aftermath of whatever they’re sparing me from. All in all, I don’t like being spared. I’ll take direct, brutal honesty over sparing my feelings. Any day. So upon hearing my Dad had his pace-maker in, and was recovering nicely, I got off the phone.
And promptly broke. My restraint was gone. Logic gave way to the illogical and emotional.
What if Dad dies and I’m in Boston? Could I or would I ever forgive myself by not being there? If I did go, could I even make it if I had to? What do I get from the act of saying good-bye? The questions come fast and furious. Cerebrally I know it’s ridiculous. Dad is ok.
But what if he’s not?
I ask God to please Spare Me that.