“Oh – should I roll up the window?” my shotgun passenger sarcastically asks. We were about to get on Central Expressway.
I respond with an eye roll.
“I’m not going to let you forget,” she laughingly nods. “What else have you told me that isn’t true. Hmmm… I wonder.”
Several years ago, when the kids were much younger, likely at the end of a long day, probably when a kid in the far-back seat was bothered/crying because the wind from an open window was blowing him (or her) – I might have told my car-riding brood that “It’s illegal to have the windows down when driving on the highway.”
Well, it’s not. And since there was never an opportunity to circle back with the truth (I mean no one really ever rolled the window down on the highway again) I’ve never known that anyone heard or remembered. I sure didn’t remember.
Until recently. When my current shotgun rider yell-gasped, “DON’T DO THAT!” to her friend sitting next. “Don’t do what,” her friend responded. “DON’T ROLL YOUR WINDOW DOWN! We’re on the HIGHWAY!” “What??” her friend inquired. “It’s ILLEGAL to roll you window down on the highway!” And then the truth presented itself. The friend looked at shotgun rider, shook her head and said, “What are you talking about?! It’s not illegal.”
Apparently, my kid had been living with the stress of someone rolling down the window while on the highway for years. She bit her lip, squinted one eye and shook her head in disbelief as she looked at me in disbelief with a what-else-isn’t-true stare.
Honestly, I’m sure I said it in a Calgon-moment when I just couldn’t take the window-noise or the whining anymore. It wasn’t said with malice or even memory of doing it. I will never live it down.
So today, we get on Central Expressway laughing about it, I ask, “What else have I said where I might have manipulated the truth to maintain peace?”
“I don’t know what you’ve said, but I know what you haven’t told me about!” She’s slightly joking, but she’s a little right. There are some topics that are a challenge to navigate and never seem completely discussed – for so many reasons. Because no matter how much is said, it seems more is needed because it’s complicated and can be shrouded in things like secret, shame, curiosity, unknowns, hurt, and sometimes uncomfortable embarrassment.
But the facts of life shouldn’t be embarrassing and they need to be discussed.
Just in Dallas alone, we have terrific resources familiar to themoatblog readers who can help. If you’re not familiar with Mary Flo Ridley, she does an excellent job to help parents out with little kids – bringing to the front burner topics that need to be aired at earlier and earlier ages. Our friend Kathleen Fischer has very frank material on the subject, coming at it from an educator/nurse/life-coach/health-care professional angle. And a new guest, Tracy Levinson, who is an author, teacher, speaker, mom and new-show host on The Blaze – is hitting it home with teens and young adults.
And how timely that Tracy just happened to stop by my house last week for a Say Something Show Kitchen-Chat with my friends Courtney DeFeo and Brenda Teele. We chat about shame, purity, purity rings (why’s and why not’s), teens, girls, boys and even how older women can come to grips with their own history that might still hold them hostage. It’s a bold, frank, authentic & fun conversation about a topic that can often goes unspoken – especially in communities of faith.
Tracy’s “hope is to help as many women and girls as possible by empowering them to choose wisdom, love and peace, as opposed to making decisions from fear, shame or condemnation.” She also shares about her new book, unashamed — candid conversations about dating, love, nakedness and faith.
With all this in the arsenal – hopefully continued conversations with my kids will be a little more realistic and meaningful than my quick fix no-windows-down-on-the-highway approach. One can hope :)
Thanks for walking the road with me.
There’s more on SaySomething. Did you miss Dr. Tony Evans “5 Tips to a Productive & Joy-Filled Life”? It’s less than 7 minutes of greatness. Here you go:
Be sure to visit saysomethingshow.com for more or our YouTube channel and subscribe :)
Thx for the intro to Tracy Levinson! I will share her book, Unashamed, w/my single friends. Often, the healing light of Jesus is brought into dark areas–where secrets & shame grow–through safe, appropriate conversations, like the ones Tracy starts. Since the church has been unwilling to talk about sex; the vacuum has been filled by the culture and Satan. While sex is private, it’s not secret. Like Tracy is w/singles, I’m trying to break the church’s code of silence w/married couples through my classes. Let’s talk, soon!
Kay, thanks for illuminating the rugged road for us on our parenting pilgrimage.