My mother is an anxious woman. I suspect she is 74th generation anxious and she has done a mighty fine job of passing it on to the next two generations at least.

As she ages, my mother becomes more anxious. She worries that she will get wet, that she might get cold, that she will run out of milk. So we have stopped telling her some things. FOR HER OWN SAKE, we say.

We lie to protect Mum from her own fears and anxieties, so that is ok, right? My real fear is that now, some 52 years from the womb, that I may develop a propensity to lie to my one surviving parent. Not that I had a plethora of parents to lie to previously, just the two, but Dad couldn’t even remember my age when I was growing up, so lying would never have been needed with him anyway. And towards the end he couldn’t even remember me at all so that kind of swept the slate clean!

 This is a side of caring for oldies that no one ever warns you about, a bit like when you give birth no one warns you that you will have to teach them to drive and allow them to take the family car one day. When your parents age sometimes you have to lie to keep them happy.

 I am not good at lying. I am ok at the old “of course you look fine in that god awful dress” lie. That is being polite. The other stuff, lying about the fact that your child hasn’t visited Grandma for a couple weeks because in fact they are out of the country, that is a little harder. And remembering the lie to keep the farce going is a bit of a long order too.  My daughters have told me that they will teach me the tricks. Apparently they have it down pat. As I am the mother they must have been lying to all this time, I am not sure how I should take that little bit of information.

 Maybe I will ask them to lie about their lying just to keep me calm and happy too. Ignorance is indeed parental bliss.

 Life Lesson 947: It is alright to lie to your mother if it will save her suffering, and you can hide your tracks.

 And if I am not struck by a bolt of heavenly lighting today I may be back tomorrow with another life lesson.

7 thoughts on “

  1. Ah yes, the lesson needed to learn that everything we thought was good and right is not always so good and right. I went through this one with my mom when she was sick and it is definitely discomforting.


  2. Little white lies, we call them. Something to prevent your own guilty conscience when you say something you think will upset them.


  3. Nothing is ever easy, is it?
    We just saw my mother-in-law off for her flight to Florida for the winter.
    She is getting more and more fragile. I don’t know how much longer she can go on. But she still enjoys going to Florida.


  4. When I was home we were planning a family get together for my father’s 79th birthday and my mother said “I’m not going to tell dad about it because he will tire himself out beforehand worrying about getting too tired on the day” … He did start to wonder what was happening when a couple of great grandkids mentioned that they were coming to visit on the same day.

    I think my kids already lie to me ………


    • FIL is the same – he always wants a big celebration and then gets so worked up that he makes himself sick – happened for his 90th birthday and their 60th wedding anniversay. We all groan now when he suggests a celebration (of course his requests are always about celebrating him, which might be the real reason we groan)


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