Little Daughter was looking at some old photo albums when she came across some pics of me going to Prom. With one boy. And then another pic of me going to Homecoming. With a different boy. And then another pic of me going to another Prom. With another boy. She turned confused eyes on me and asked, “But mum, where’s Dad?”
“He’s not in the picture. I didn’t know him then.”
More confusion. “So who are these boys?”
“Umm, other boys that I used to go out with. Other friends.”
A look of horror. “You mean Dad wasn’t your only boyfriend?! You loved OTHER boys!?” She sounded as shocked as if someone had just told her that Santa ate reindeer for breakfast. As if I had just confessed to being the biggest skankiest ho’ outside of Ho-Ville.
I had to explain that yes, mums and dads could have other past boyfriends and girlfriends and then still fall in love and get married to each other. Which prompted more aghast questions, “You mean, Dad had some other girlfriends TOO?!” Oh did he ever... (And just like that the Hot Man joined Santa at the roast reindeer buffet. Boogied his skanky ho self over to join me in Ho’Ville.)
So me and Little Daughter had to chat a bit more about how her dad is the most amazingest man in the world and I love him the bestest, mostest in the whole universe….and none of those other boys could ever hope to compare. (Especially not that jerk in 6th grade who just toyed with my emotions, made me think that he liked me and then told everybody that my legs looked like a chicken’s. I should totally write a story with him in it – and then have him die a miserable, slow death. Attack by rabid chickens. Ha.)
Sorry, I was digressing. Back to my original discussion, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you’ve probably figured out that I’m very up-front with my children. I don’t lie to them about what I’ve done and when I did it. But I’m also very open with them about what I regret and what I’ve learned from my past. My honesty with my children has raised some eyebrows with other parents but it’s what works for us.
What about you – how much do you tell YOUR children? If you’re trying to teach them the importance of living by certain principles which include – no alcohol, drugs or cigarettes – then how much do you tell them about your past drinking and everything else? If you’re raising a family on a strong Christian foundation which includes guidelines like – no dating until they’re 16 and no sex before marriage – then how open are you when they want to know what you got up to and how old you were when you got up to it?! …Those have been some of our challenges in the honesty arena – what are yours?