The following appears in the February edition of Chicago Parent.
I came home the other day to an athletic cup sitting on my kitchen counter. Denials were issued all around.
I am not sure how I feel about living in a world where athletic cups wondrously appear from the heavens.
Yet, it was not the only miracle that week.
Earlier, I discovered an entire cache of Halloween candy wrappers shoved deep under my couch cushions.
The boys vowed solemnly that they were unaware of the witchcraft that placed them in this location. One son theorized a friend might have left them there. Another child suggested the wrappers were purchased with the couch. The last one speculated it was his father.
Deeply upset that my brood was obviously in cahoots with Pinocchio, I reached for the nukes.
God, one dead grandmother, and the risk of eternal damnation later, I still could not secure a confession.
Technology was confiscated. Treats were withheld. Tears were shed.
Frustrated and angry that my usual methods were failing, I thought about high school. If they were lying to me now over minor offenses, what would our world be like when the big dogs came into play? Drinking. Driving. Drugs. How could I keep them safe and on course when I couldn’t even get a straight answer on the durable hard-shell protective cup now sitting in my kitchen with “Protect this House” plastered across it?
In order to protect this house, I needed the truth! That’s when Joe called from the firehouse. He reminded me to order a new pair of athletic pants for Jack because his old ones were ripped.
“I took out the cup, we can use those with another pair. I left it on the counter so you wouldn’t forget.”
This sounded vaguely familiar. I went for broke.
“Do you know anything about how a bunch of old candy wrappers wound up under the couch?”
He’d make a terrible felon.
The boys are officially off the hook and I feel perfectly ready for high school. I totally got this.
Now please don’t hook me up to a lie-detector.