My son and I were standing in the security line headed to board our plane. As usual, my little guy was asking me a ton of questions, many of which I did not have the answer to. As he asked me about the size of jet liners and engine speeds, I let him know that I had no idea what the answers were to his questions and that my answers were simply guesses. I suggested we “google” his questions; a common activity in our home. I turned around to see the woman behind us smiling at me. She looked at me and suggested that I just tell my son anything, as he wouldn’t know the difference anyway. Her comment stopped me for a second and caused me to pause. I understood that she was attempting to help me out, fellow mother to fellow mother, an act of kindness on her part. I also understood that this was a crucial moment for my son and I as well. I smiled to her and kindly looked her in the eyes and suggested that he may not know the difference now, but that he would soon find out a true answer and lose his trust in me. To me, his trust is most important.
I do not know the effect this statement had on her, if any, but I am keenly aware of it’s importance for my son and for myself. This exchange left me thinking about how essential it truly is that we find ways to be honest with our children. How important it is that we set them up to trust us. How critical it is that we respect their trust in us and not give untruths simply to make our lives easier. It left me wanting to write this blog.
Our children have so many questions. They are curious about the tiniest details of the world and place so much faith in our ability to provide them the answers. Think about it. Close your eyes and picture your child’s face each and every time they look to you for an answer. Picture that look of trust, that unwavering belief in you, that knowing in their eyes that they can trust in you. See it in your minds eye, and feel it in your heart. Even the silliest of questions are asked from these trusting and hopeful faces. Even the silliest of questions deserve a conscious and honest answer.
I know it can be overwhelming and seem like little white lies won’t matter. Think about it though. Close your eyes and imagine the disappointment and confusion on those trusting and hopeful faces when they figure out the truth. Consider the consequences, their trusting you a little bit less now. The next question asked coming from eyes not quite as trusting and not quite as hopeful. What may seem silly to us adults, can be a very big deal to our children. The world through a child’s eyes is a world of wonder and awe. Asking about the type of jet liner that has three rows of seating is just as important as asking how to spell their name.
And so, this woman on line has in fact connected with me through a beautiful act of kindness. Her comment has inspired me to inspire all of you. To encourage you all to take the time to be conscious of your children as they ask questions and look to you for the answers. To realize their trust in you, respect it, value it, and hold it dear to your hearts. The day will come when they look to you for answers to crucial questions in their life….or will they? The answer to that question is up to you.