I Broke My Kid's Heart - and now Mine is Broken, Too.
Have you ever told your kid the truth but afterwards felt like you should have lied?? This happened to me recently and I am pretty broken-hearted about it.
My daughter is 7 years old and she is very creative. She enjoys writing and singing songs and building things with recycled materials.
A couple of weeks ago, she had the idea to make a house for fairies. She used boxes and containers from our recycle bin and wanted me to help her. For me, this was a great way to bond with her and allow her creative mind to impact me in a positive way. We worked so hard on the house and it took us about 1.5 hours to finish it.
Once the fairy house was complete, Lylah decided she wanted to write to the fairies. She wrote little notes that said "here is your fairy house!" and "I love you fairies!"
When after a few days she hadn't gotten any response from the fairies, she decided to put another note on there that said "I love you fairies! Please write back!" She was so excited to meet a fairy, or at least have a note from one.
So, I did what any mother might do in this situation. I waited until Lylah went to bed that night and I took the time to write "Hi Lylah!!" on one of the doors to the house in my left-handed scribble handwriting.
The next day after school, Lylah was playing in the playroom and noticed the note from the "fairy."
"Mommy!! The fairies wrote back!!" she exclaimed with a wild excitement that only a child can muster.
She was beside herself with happiness. Her smile was so big, it was one of the most enjoyable moments I have had with her.
For some reason, at bedtime that night, Lylah asked me a question. "Mommy, tell me the truth...did you write the message from the fairies?"
My mind went haywire!! I was caught in a moment that I didn't think I would be in until at least next year. I didn't know what to say - do I lie to my child and say "no! It was the fairies!" or do I tell the truth (something I always said I would do) and tell her I did it???
I don't know what you would have done. But in that moment, because I didn't have much time to think, I decided to tell the truth. I said to her "do you really want Mommy to tell the truth?" She said yes...so I said "yes, I wrote it."
Oh. My. God. My heart. She immediately yelled "noooo!" and ran away bawling. Seriously, I haven't seen tears come that fast to her since she was a baby. I had broken her little 7 year old heart! And so I immediately started crying, too.
There we were, both in tears. I in my room, and she in hers just bawling. She didn't want to be around me. She couldn't believe I would deceive her like that.
Later, after she calmed down a bit, I went into her room to speak with her. She was still teary and said "Mommy, you lied! You said it was the fairies when I first saw it. And now I know it was you."
All I could say was "Sweetie, I know. I am sorry I lied to you. I just wanted you to be happy. That is all I ever want is for you be happy. I am so sorry."
After a few days, she forgave me and seemed fine. But then she said I should throw away the fairy house and she crossed out all of the notes she had written to the fairies.
Today (a week after Lylah said to toss it), I recycled the fairy house. And as I did it (and as I am writing this) I cried. I am still upset that I could break my daughter's heart. And if I could do it all over again, I would have told her that it wasn't me. I would have lied and told her it was the fairies. Because she's SEVEN.
I made a mistake - a big one. One that could snowball into her not believing in anything anymore. No Easter Bunny. No Santa. It hasn't happened yet, but Lylah is a smart kid and I just feel like because of this situation, the next is just around the corner.
I know how I will handle Santa, etc for the future (I don't think it makes sense to lie about them since what happened with the fairies happened) and I always knew that she would ask me eventually about all of this stuff. I just didn't think it would come so soon.
My baby is growing. And it's happening fast. She is smart and fierce and awesome, and I am so sorry to have broken her heart. Her broken heart that day broke a piece of mine, too. But choices are choices and love is love. I can't go back. I can't change it. But Lylah still knows how much I love her and I tell her everyday. And at the end of the day, love is all that matters.