Beth Falkenstein: Anyone who has never been lied to by their teenager, take one step forward. Not so fast, Anyone!
Until recently, I, too, was blissfully ignorant. I could sleep at night secure in the knowledge that my daughter was incapable of lying to me. Then I caught her red-tongued.
The details don't matter. Let's just say it was worse than faking being asleep but not as bad as faking being a virgin. (Okay, she told me she and her friend rented "Legally Blonde." The receipt said "Wild Things.") What matters is that now I can no longer be certain about anything she says to me. I don't mean I now think she's a compulsive liar; I mean I now know she has it in her. Everything she says is suspect.
"I have rehearsal after school." Does she? Or is she really walking to the mall with her friends?
"That was Susie on the phone." Was it? Or did she give a stranger on Facebook her phone number?
"I love your vegetarian chili!" Really? Or is she just buttering me up because report cards are coming out tomorrow?
It's like I don't even know her anymore ...
... Or maybe, since my rose-colored reading glasses have been yanked from my eyes, I now know her better: my perfect little darling is perfectly human.
Maybe I won't always be certain she is telling me the truth, but that doesn't mean I need to consult Dick Cheney on interrogation techniques. If she lies, it's up to her to deal with the consequences of her own conscience, and of getting found out. That's one lesson she will learn about growing up. And it's one lesson I need to learn about letting go.
Ladies, it's a tremendously liberating feeling.
(Okay, that was kind of a lie.)
|Beth Falkenstein was a sitcom writer and freelance contributor to "Self," "Redbook," and "YM" magazines before taking a full time job in her kitchen. She loves her new bosses (ages 13 and 10), and is grateful that they approve of inter-office romance, because Beth thinks her co-worker (Jim, age 45) is really hot.|