We were swimming at the YMCA yesterday when a young girl asked Jordan how old he was and told him that she was twelve. Jordan then asked me, “Are you older than twelve, Mom?”
I nodded with amusement and answered, “Yes, I’m older. I’m thirty-six.”
The girl looked at me with question and said, “My mom is thirty-six and you look a lot younger than her. You look like you’re in your twenties!”
The deception of age, I chuckled to myself. I gave my kids a ten minute countdown preparing them to leave.
Maddi bargained, “I want 100 minutes more…one-two-skip-a-few…ninety-nine-one-hundred!”
Jordan splashed his sister with water and said, “She’s hilarious.”
On the way home Maddi told us, “My daddy loved me when I was a baby and I never saw him. Now he knows I’m a four cuz he can hear me saying four.”
I can only hope she is right.
We passed a car crash and Maddi asked, “Where’s daddy’s police car?”
“At the police department,” I told her.
“Did someone have to drive it back for him?” she wanted to know. “Were there other police officers there? Did they have two keys?”
My heart was sinking as my four year old asked questions that no one at any age should ever have to ask. Questions I haven't even considered. Did they have two keys? How did the car get back to the department that chaotic day?
We pulled into the driveway and Maddi gave me a sly grin, the kind that tells me she knows a secret. “Mommy, Daddy’s home,” she started. “He snuck in the house and he’s hiding inside. For real! I’m not kidding, Mom. I’m true. I’m not even lying.”
I’m true, my daughter said. What a beautiful concept for any age…to be true. True to ourselves, true to our beliefs, true to the people around us.
I want to be true. No matter how much the truth hurts. No matter how hard the challenge to be true. That's how I want to be. I hope at thirty-six I can steal her line and say, "I'm true….for real."