Flora asked me something yesterday.
And I said I’d like to talk to Dan about it.
And she asked me not to. She got pretty upset.
(And, no, Internet, I’m not going to tell you what it was either.)
It’s not a big deep dark secret, it’s nothing that’s going to put her in physical danger. She wants to do something, and would like my assistance. It’s the kind of thing I could see being a “girl” thing or something special between a mother and a daughter.
I’m clearly uncomfortable with it. Not the thing itself — I’m fine with what she asked. I’m uncomfortable not telling Dan.
Here are my options as I see them:
1. Don’t tell him, and just keep it between me and Flora.
2. Do tell him, but ask him to not say anything to Flora because she asked me not to tell him.
3. He reads this blog post (not a sure thing, but not out of the realm of possibility), and demands to be told anyway. I tell him, and ask him not to tell Flora I told.
She asked me not to tell her father because she’s afraid of a) being teased, b) being embarrassed and/or c) being in “trouble”. It’s not something she would get in real trouble for — her daddy may find it upsetting because it’s a sign she’s growing up and becoming more independent.
Flora doesn’t like upsetting her Dad.
Either way, I’m betraying a trust. Dan trusts me to communicate about what’s going on with the kids. Flora is trusting me with a secret.
I’m torn. My instinct is to tell Dan and ask him not to talk to Flora about it. Tell him that I will be there for her in this instance.
And then I waver. If I do that because I want to establish trust between me and Flora, want to establish a bond that will help her come to me *no matter what*, aren’t I basing that bond on a lie?
Here is where I understand the desire to keep children small, something I generally don’t wish for. I like watching my children grow, enjoy watching them hit milestones, develop new skills, learn new things, and be excited about new skills and learning.
We were at a restaurant last night with my parents, and first Kate acted up, and then Michael threw a tantrum — I walked outside with him to calm him down and not bother other patrons (even though it was Eat ‘n’ Park). On the way out, I noticed a little baby, probably about 5-6 months old, contentedly hanging out in his carseat. And for a split second, I wished my kids were that little and that easy again.
But they aren’t.
What think you, readers?
Edited to add: And then there’s the issue of telling Dan and putting the burden on him to keep it a secret that I told him Flora’s secret. That doesn’t seem very fair either. Darn it all.