1. Logic is subjective. Purely. If a six year-old thinks it more convenient to convince you that a seven feet long worm really did eat their homework, then they will do so without hesitation. Some will ask if you were dropped on your head when you express disbelief.
2. When you’re asked if you want to see something cool, say no. Saying yes leads to craziness like having a paper bag filled with cat poo opened in your face.
3. Games are matters of life and death. Cries of “cheater!” and “sore looser!” run rampant. Attempts to change this are largely futile.
4. Dora the Explorer, Miley Cyrus, and the Power Rangers are gods. Any word against them merits severe ostracizing. References to “Kermit the Frog” are more often than not met with blank stares.
5. Buffy-speak is the new English. For example: “You’re mean, really mean…just–just…well you’re not nice!”
6. Tell almost any small child that you can and will show them how to make ice cream and they will worship the ground you walk on. However, be sure you are prepared to deal with the sugar highs that will inevitably result.
7. Do not dismiss a child’s concerns and worries just because they seem small to you, while an adult has the advantage of perspective a child does not. Do not ever just write it off.
8. Very little amuses primary-age children like things they would consider naughty. The word “crap” has been known to cause a case of the giggles lasting for several minutes. The word “shit”? To say nothing got accomplished is an understatement.
They’ve made me smile, laugh ’til I cried, and often wonder how someone could frown at something that endearing. I actually changed my major when I realized how much I enjoyed working with them over the past year. They are my firsties and damn if I won’t miss them.
As we learn how to speak beyond one or two-word sentences, we are told by the adults around us that we should always be honest. It’s one of the first lessons a child learns and right from the start, we are also taught to bend it.
We learn to keep others at a distance, we learn to use phrases like “I’m fine” or “it’s OK” even when on the verge of breakdown.
We learn tact which I like to refer to as polite lying; for example, saying how much you love a Christmas sweater your grandmother gave you despite the fact that the sight of it makes bile rise up in your throat.
But the most numerous all are the lies we tell ourselves. We tell them to comfort ourselves or to try and glue the pieces of our lives back together. We tell them to make us feel better about ourselves. We tell them because, quite honestly, the truth freaking hurts.
It ostracizes people when they can’t handle hearing it.
It puts us out of our comfort zone and onto the guillotine.
The truth is really not what it’s cracked up to be.
This is why me and denial are such close friends, especially when it comes to feelings.
I had a conversation with Tinkerbell on Friday about denial, about how I was happy that she was finally letting herself admit she wanted a relationship with her beau Freckles. Then in our typical rhythm, the topic turned to my own denials. One of which I’ve kept up for the better part of a year.
After advising her not to deny what she wanted, I would be a hypocrite (one of my biggest peeves) if I did not do the same.
Denial #1 – “I am nothing like my father.”
I often keep people at arm’s length. Before I really tried to control it, I had an explosive temper. I can be blunt to the point of tactlessness. I use sarcasm far too heavily. I can have a “fuck the world” attitude from time to time. I am happiest outside. If someone starts a fight with me, I’ll be sure to finish it. The reason I don’t get drunk is because I’m afraid I’ll have his same problem with alcoholism. I look like him. I sound like him. My first name (not Kendall) is in honour of him. These facts bother me horribly. They probably always will.
Denial #2 – “I am confident about my teaching internship next year.”
It scares the piss out of me. Not even while I be responsible for the education of a group of children but this is on top of finishing my last year of undergrad and working as well. I’m all ready pretty sure I won’t be able to be a full-time UNC student between all of this which means I might not graduate until the summer or even Christmas. I’m going to be one tired man come Commencement.
Denial #3 – “I’m not ready to get a place with Eva.”
While yes we did talk about it at length, we decided not to just yet. She has some of her things at my apartment as do I at her townhouse. We have slept in the same bed on many occasions. While I want to say it’s because I’m afraid of taking that step, the truth is…I don’t want to have a live-in girlfriend I’m not engaged to. It’s the bits of my old-fashioned morals from my Nana rising up in me.
Denial #4 – “I may love her, but I don’t see Daybreak as my daughter.”
This one is so full of shit that I’m amazed I managed to believe even part of it for a moment, much less for months. I was always afraid to call her my daughter out loud. Afraid that because of Denial #1 I would be a horrible dad. So when I called her my daughter aloud where both Eva and Daybreak heard me, I thought I would have a panic attack. When Eva didn’t immediately jump in and correct me, she instead just smiled and said she had known that for months.
As Grey’s Anatomy has said, “denial really isn’t just a river in Egypt. It’s a freaking ocean.”
And I seem to be drowning.
So what are you deluding yourself about?