Parents, you all lied to us. More than we lied to you about stealing cookies and which child broke what, you lied to us from day one.
Here are some of your biggest lies:
1. "I love your artwork/cooking/singing/talent/etc."
As part of the penance for lying to children, parents must endure and outwardly appreciate the colorful scribbles, dance recitals and new recipes presented by their children.
When I would twist my mom's hair into a giant knot to turn her into a princess, she told me she loved it.
Every time my parents sat through a voice concert to hear me croak through a Disney song, it ended with celebratory ice cream because I did “such a great job.”
Kids live in little bubbles and no parent wants to pop them.
As painful as it is to be the testers of peanut butter and fruit roll up sandwiches, parents grin and bear it if it will make their kid happy.
Kids will get plenty of rejection and harsh criticism throughout their life, so it’s a comfort to know there are still some people out there willing to go to your oboe concert because they believe in you.
I know my fingerpainting will never hang at MoMA, but my parents made me believe it could.
2. "Don't cross your eyes, they'll get stuck that way."
Along with “Don’t make silly faces, it’ll freeze that way,” and “Don’t leave the house with your hair wet, you’ll catch a cold,” it seems that parents did not always have sane medical advice.
To this day, I have never heard of anyone who made a weird face and got it stuck that way.
But the uncertainty of a frozen face was enough to stop me from trying.
It wasn’t just the fear of having to explain to strangers that their kid accidentally has crossed eyes from goofing around too much, parents always thought about their kids’ health.
Preventing sickness is a daily struggle, considering how much kids touch, lick and eat things they shouldn’t.
It wasn’t a lot to ask for a kid to put a hat on or uncross their eyes, but it put parents at ease.
Telling us not to cross our eyes was just another way of keeping us healthy.
3. "I never did/said that to my parents when I was your age."
Kids are kids, whether they grow up in the age of iPhones, car phones or rotary phones. Despite what your mother says, she definitely threw a fit when her mom said no dessert.
Your dad definitely didn’t keep his room perfectly tidy. Although we glorified our parents and put them high on a pedestal, we had the stinking feeling that they complained about their chores, too.
But the lie does its job. Kids want to be just like their parents, so if their parents obeyed, they will (try to) obey.
4. "I have Santa's cell phone number and I'm not afraid to call him."
More than a bone-chilling threat than an outright lie, this struck fear into adolescent hearts before the end of the sentence.
Parents held all the power. They had the connections that would make or break our entire year.
All it took was one small reminder, and I’d walk on eggshells. I was not willing to risk a single present for anything.
When Santa becomes a myth, the lie is replaced with a variation of “I brought you into this world and I can take you out.” It's another reminder of who’s in charge, and they’ll never let you forget it.
5. "We'll never let anything bad happen to you."
We knew it hurt when doctors gave us shots and dentists filled a filling, but we believed our parents when they said otherwise.
Maybe it was total faith in my parents, maybe it was wishful thinking, but before each shot, I would think, “I hope this doesn’t hurt.”
And then I lost all train of thought because I was too busy crying. Beyond pediatric offices, “I hope this doesn’t hurt,” is still a common thought to anyone of any age.
As much as parents want to protect us, they can’t stop the world from hurting us at some point, and they shouldn’t.
When we hurt, we fall back onto the people who have supported us, cared for us and guided us our whole lives.
They planted inside us the seed that will help us survive tough times. They nurture and let us grow until we can stand on our own.
The sting of the hurt goes away, but the memories stay. So it’s okay when our parents can’t stop us from getting hurt.
But, let’s thank them for trying.