Have you ever seen that television commercial for the chewy granola bars where the little kids are sharing too much information, ‘fessing up the family secrets? They are saying stuff like “My mom had to cut up all her credit cards… My dad cries… My sister dresses like a floosey!” Then the announcer comes on and suggests that you can keep the kids quiet by feeding them these chewy granola bars. It’s pretty funny.
Anyway, I got to thinking about secrets and how even things that aren’t actually secrets, might seem like they are, or might sound suspect, coming from a child. And that might not be funny. At least, not initially. But later, after some time has elapsed, and everyone’s calmed down, it will probably seem funny. That’s how retrospect works, isn’t it?
Let me share some examples of what I’m talking about with you. (I was going to say “Let me share with you some examples of what I’m talking about” but then I remembered you shouldn’t end sentences in a preposition, so I changed it). Anyway, my parents live in an area prone to tornados. Because of that, they’ve recently dug out a crawl space under their house. A place they can take cover in the event the weather radio blares out a warning of an impending tornado heading their way. My father, trying to entertain my son on a recent visit, showed my son the newly dug out crawl space, and called it a “secret room”. Which you’d think wouldn’t be such a big deal, right? But then my son went and told the neighbor that his grandfather has a “secret room” in his house! Suddenly, it doesn’t sound so innocent, does it? I can only imagine what images the neighbors have flickering through their minds.
Or how about this? When my niece was 3 years old she was waiting with her mother to walk her sister home from school. While they stood there, waiting for school to let out and surrounded by other parents who were also waiting for their children, my niece proclaimed in her loudest 3 year old voice, “Mom, your breath smells like beer!” My horrified sister-in-law corrected her: “You mean my breath smells like baloney,” she said, slightly louder than necessary. She’d just finished a baloney sandwich a half hour prior. She claims that ever since that incident, the other parents seemed to pay her just a bit more attention. They’ve been watching, perhaps, to see if she appeared at all tipsy there in the middle of the afternoon.
My husband’s not so good at keeping secrets himself. He had to warn me the other day of how he’d been looking up crystal on the internet. In anticipation of our upcoming wedding anniversary, he was browsing for possible gifts. Only, one of the links he clicked on was “crystal thongs”, and up popped images of women’s rear ends, clad in those thongs. Well, you know how thongs are; that tiny strip of fabric doesn’t cover much. And then, unlucky for him, there was our 5 year old son suddenly beside him asking, “Dad!? Why are you looking at ladies butts?!”
And finally, there’s this event shared with me by one of my friends. His 3-year old daughter got to spend some time with her Uncle recently. Her Uncle is a magician. For real. That’s his job! I don’t know if he’s on T.V. or in the circus, or travels around the country with carnivals, or what, I’ve never met him. But he’s got a bag of magic tricks, and he entertained my friend’s daughter with them. She, in turn, was so astonished that she told her preschool teachers all about it. And they, in turn, were so taken aback that they questioned my friend’s wife when she went to pick their daughter up at the end of the day. They pulled her aside and said, “Your daughter was telling us that her Uncle… um… makes his balls disappear…” I do believe she set them straight.