English Parenting The foreign life

Will the lies of my past become the lies of my future?

*This post was written during ChicagoNow’s Blogapalooz-Hour for January 2016. During Blogapalooz we are given a prompt and we have one hour to post. This is today’s prompt: “Write about a time you told a lie”.

For the last fifteen years, I have been a very boring almost model citizen. I don’t lie, I don’t break the law, I don’t drive if I have consumed even a little drop of alcohol. The wildest thing I do these days is smoke a cigarette if I go out with my friends. Woohoo!!!

But that has not always been the case. Before I became a respectable mom and blogger, for a few years, I did it all. For American standards, you would say that as a teenager I was pretty wild. And I started a hell of a lot earlier than I would have in this country. Since in Spain the legal age to enter a bar is 18, by the tender age of 13 I had a fake ID, red lipstick and a nice push up bra that granted me entrance in too many a bar. I drank, I danced on top of bars, I smoked. I had my first joint at 14, the last when I was 21. I dated. A lot. At least if you can call dating kissing a bit in a lobby at the end of the night while you think that a little tongue grants you porn star status (hey, I’m Basque, and as such I was erotically and romantically challenged for a good while).

Of course, my parents didn’t find out about most of these things until many, many years later. You see, I lied. As most teenagers do, I lied endlessly, tirelessly, without a tiny bit of shame. I stole the attendance sheets at school, hid grade reports, invented trips I never took, and pretended to be taking care of my brother’s apartment while he was on vacation just to have eight friends stay over for a few days. My brother knew, my parents didn’t. And I lied so well that, when years later I told them casually that I did all these things, they didn’t believe me. Except for the grade thing. They eventually found out about that.

I didn’t feel ashamed then, and I don’t feel ashamed now. Most of those things were pretty typical in Spain (ok, maybe not all of them together). And all those things made for a very fun ride. I enjoyed every single bit of it. I’m sure there was drama every now and then, but I don’t remember that part.

However, it’s not the lies of the past what concerns me. It’s the lies of the future. Because, now that I am a mom of three, I know that eventually I will have to face the decision of whether to lie to my kids or not. Of whether to tell them that their mom, the same one who insists on following the rules and being nice, was wild once. That she didn’t listen to her own parents, or to the law for that matter. That she didn’t care about what anyone thought of her.

They are young enough that I haven’t made that decision yet. Lying to your parents seems like part of the cycle of life. Lying to your kids feels wrong. Terribly wrong. So I have the feeling that I may back up and decide not to lie to them after all. And to use whatever knowledge I gained all those years on my behalf, to have the illusion that, as a mother, I am less naive than my parents ever were. But, then, I will be lying to myself. A white lie, as you call it here. Like all the others.

The two friends in this picture, that I'm going to date "circa" 2000, are going to kill me for posting it.
The two friends in this picture, that I’m going to date “circa” 2000, are going to kill me for posting it. The one on the right was me at 20.

 

 

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