Tuesday, May 8, 2007

surprises

We are the worst secret-keepers in the whole world. All five of us. Oh, heck, the dog probably couldn't even keep a secret.

I should correct that. Surprises. We've told the kids to never keep a secret, because keeping secrets isn't usually a good thing. But surprises are good.

We're not good at surprises. At all. Before we had kids, my husband and I could never wait until Christmas to exchange gifts. We were so proud of ourselves the year before we were parents, because we waited all the way until the 22nd. And the gifts were wrapped. We thought we were going to make such responsible parents - surely the next year we could make it to the 25th, right?

Unfortunately, we're teaching our children by our example. They try, but they're terrible. The little one came home from pre-school today and whispered to me that he'd made a father's day gift and used his footprints. And that it was a surprise and I shouldn't tell daddy. I promised I wouldn't. About an hour later, we were working on a project, and he said something, right in front of daddy about making his footprints. I whispered to him that I thought it was a surprise, and we weren't to tell daddy. He bashfully looked down and mumbled, "I told him."

Not even and hour.

The older ones are getting better. If they take a shopping trip for a birthday or Christmas, I might try to get it out of them, but the older two are stoic. It's a surprise, they say, we can't tell you. Giggles and mad hiding in obvious places ensue.

But usually at bedtime, a time when insecurities are revealed and questions are asked where privacy can be expected and confidences kept, they'll tell.

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