Yesterday was the hubby's birthday. On Monday I took the little one into Tesco's to buy some pens and paper to make him a card. Before we returned to the car I told her that it was a surprise and not to tell her daddy until he saw his card on his birthday.
We don't do secrets in our house. We do surprises which are like secrets but you know when the person will find out.
Anyway, within minutes of getting in the car she blurted out that she'd bought stuff to make him a card. We both smiled. I am glad when she tells us everything. There have been enough secrets in my life.
I am on Anglesey on holiday and had a chance for a good long chat with my sister. Let me tell you a story.
There was once a brother and sister that, due to various circumstances that we can never know the real facts around, lived with their father and stepmother. It wasn't a happy life. The children were not welcome in the household and the stepmother seemed to really hate them. Childhood was not a happy time for these kids.
One day, when the sister was 9ish, the stepmother and father had a little baby girl and they were delighted. The other brother and sister were even less welcome now. Despite this, when a Social Worker came to visit the children were told that they were not to tell them the truth of what home life was like under any circumstances...or else...
Despite this, when asked who they wanted to live with, the sister answered that she wanted to live with her mother.
The father was not happy. He felt betrayed. He felt the little girl had let him down.
Next time the brother and sister went to stay with their mother, they weren't sent home at the end of the holidays. Because the little girl had told the Social Worker she wanted to live with her mother, and because she was judged old enough to know best, they were allowed to stay and didn't have to go back to live with the father and stepmother.
Meanwhile the little baby girl grew up into a young lady in a loving nurturing family with the father and the stepmother. No one was allowed to let her know that she had a brother and sister. Family, friends, people in the local village and even the primary school where the brother and sister had gone before the little girl, all kept the BIG secret. She grew up as an only child, adoring her father and living a very insulated life - just in case someone accidentally let the BIG secret slip.
Then one day when the little girl was 16, a school friend who obviously had not been in on the lies, asked the girl how her brother and sister were doing. Confused she went home and asked her father only to find out that her friend was right and she did in fact have siblings. She spent time trying to unpick the puzzle - talking to everyone she could and trying to find photos.
She eventually got in touch with her sister and they met.
Meanwhile the father and the stepmother split up when she was about 16. The father moved the girl into a flat and moved away. The girl was in shock and when she asked her much loved father how he could just leave like that he explained that he didn't love her. That he instead loved the woman he was moving in with. The girl, now a young lady was confused because she was old enough to know that these were different types of love. But he clearly didn't understand that.
Many years later everyone is in touch. The girl mourns the years he spent as an only child not knowing she had siblings. The brother and sister fought their own battles for survival over the years.
The father is a 'guru'. Helping people all over the world get over emotional problems in their lives. The same father who has consistently maintained that he does not love his daughter. And disowned his other daughter because he felt betrayed when she didn't want to live in a house where she was neglected and hit.
We don't do secrets in our house.