"Don't tell Mom!"

People can't keep a secret. I myself have been guilty of passing along a scandalous tid-bit (of my own, or someone else's), but deep down I'm leery of the consequences of the divulgence. Basically, I know that if I let something slip, it's bound to hit the fan and become public knowledge. So, to prevent it from happening, I either, 1) keep the truly juicy stuff to myself... or 2) do not utter the words, "How did anyone know?"

But I'm amazed how a vast majority of the population, including my children, have yet to figure out this seemingly simple "cause-and-effect" rule of the universe. Because time after time I have witnessed countless people make a mistake or do something stupid and then deliberately tell someone all about it. And then days, weeks or even months later they are utterly astonished how anyone could have found out!

So, I have three examples to help illustrate my point...

1) I came downstairs one morning to find a heap of colorful tin wrappers scattered all over the counter. I did a quick scan at the faces of my two young sons and after a quiet deliberation in my head, came to the conclusion that the chocolate-face-Caleb was the culprit. His obvious failure to conceal the evidence was his own demise, however, he repeatedly blamed his elder brother, Josh for telling on him.

2) I recently read a post on facebook where the person divulged, "totally disappointed in my very best friend". Do they really think that so-and-so is going to ask another so-and-so if they saw so-and-so's message on facebook... and that maybe this will continue round and round until the best friend actually finds out that they are a total disappointment? Maybe this is just the poster's passive-aggressive attempt at getting even... but is it possible that people are really clueless enough to think that if they make a general statement that people can't connect the dots and figure out who they are talking about? Do people really believe that they can spout off whatever comes to mind, and that there will be no consequences for their actions?

3) I overheard a conversation last night between sons #1 and #2. I was doing the night-time-quick-pick-up, and Josh and Caleb were in their rooms getting jammies on. I wasn't sure... but I assumed that their conversation had something to do with a large collection of socks under the bed. There was some more whispering, and then I heard the words, "Don't tell Mom!" So far, no one has come forward or tattled about the contraband under the bed. And under more serious circumstances, those words "don't tell mom" might cause me to cringe and worry into the night, and construct a plan to nudge the guilty one to come forward. But since their crime was just a pile of dirty socks, I think I'll overlook it... at least until laundry day!


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