I don’t even know how to start writing this. I’ve started it now three times and deleted it three times because it’s so embarrassing and frustrating and – what kind of a person makes up a kid? This kind. Me. Today I lied about being a mom and the second the lie slipped out of my mouth I wanted to swallow it back up. But you can’t take back a lie like that…that one’s too big.
It happened in the waiting room of a car repair shop. I was waiting on an alignment and had run out of games to play on my phone, so I started watching TMZ on the big television. One of the reporters caught up with Elton John’s son, Elijah (who is two) and was interviewing him. It was adorable and funny and I laughed out loud. The only other person in the room was a young pregnant woman, who also laughed and since we’d both been waiting for a while we just started to talk.
“When are you due?” I asked.
Now, I know this isn’t something to generally ask a woman (men should never ask), but she was Obviously pregnant and, again, I was out of games.
“Three months,” she said, glowing. She rubbed the tum and kept talking. “It’s a boy.”
“Aww! Boys are so much fun. You are going to love it. Is this your first?”
“Yes. I can’t wait! I’m kind of nervous but so excited, too.”
“Don’t be nervous, you’ll figure it out as you go. Just keep a sense of humor more than anything,” I said. That’s always my advice to parents. I figure it’s safe. “Boys are a loving, messy handful, but you are in for the adventure of your life.”
“Do you have a boy?”
And there it was. The lie. It popped out so fast that I couldn’t stop it. It was one of those flash responses that you don’t think about…like when you’re ordering a burger and they ask if you want everything and you say yes…but then remember you hate onions on your burger.
A girl. So much bigger than onions.
“How old is she?” she asked.
It’s one of those lies you can’t take back. Especially when you know you’re going to be in a room with that person for who knows how much longer. It’s one of those scary lies, too. Who makes up a kid? If I’d told this young, very pregnant woman the truth right then and there, I can’t even imagine what she would have thought. Not necessarily of me, but for herself. How terrifying to be stuck in a waiting room with a person who makes up imaginary children.
“Oh, that’s a great age,” she said. “Past the terrible twos and threes.”
I kept going. It was like I couldn’t stop myself. “It’s great for about three months, then they get all funky again,” I said, with a laugh. “Big teeth mixed in with little teeth, weird smells, growth spurts. It’s like they go from being cute, sweet babies to gigantor aliens in just a few months.”
I was thinking of my nieces and what they’d all been like at seven. It really is kind of a strange age for kids.
We talked a bit more. About kids, about our town, about whatever was going on in North Korea. And then my name was called.
“Have a great day,” I said, with a wave. “Good luck with the little one.”
Am I a horrible person? Right now as I write this I know I’m probably never going to see that young woman again. What happened happened and it can’t be taken back, but I feel so embarrassed by it and frustrated.
I was supposed to be a mom. I would have made a great mom. Someday I’ll adopt and have my chance, but that’s so much to tell a stranger in the waiting room of an automotive repair shop.
Today I lied about being a mom and I’m just wondering what that says about me that I would do that?
Tell me your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear if you’ve ever done something like that, or any advice on what I should have done…