Posted by: Amanda | May 23, 2012

Telling the Truth

“Did you ever tell a lie?” As Dalton says these words, four clear blue eyes drill into me–make that six if you include the blue eyes of my husband, laughing a little.

***

I’m the only one with brown eyes. When I found out four-and-a-half years ago that the baby in my uterus was a girl, I wondered whether she’d have brown eyes. I imagined those big brown eyes looking up at me. I would sing her the chorus of “Brown-Eyed Girl” as I rocked her to sleep at night. But that baby came out with the biggest, bluest eyes, and I loved them.

A week rarely goes by without someone, like the cashier at Walgreen’s this past Saturday, mentioning my kids’ eyes. They look from them to me and say, “Where did they get those beautiful eyes?”

Dalton’s eyes have changed. I tell him they look like the stormy sea just after sunset. They are dark blue gray with specks of golden brown near the pupils. Lily’s eyes are still clear blue and so round, especially when she pouts.

When we were dating, Paul told me about an ex-girlfriend who had blue eyes. Her eyes darkened when she lied. “They turned brown,” he said as he looked into my eyes. As we stood by the river, I wondered what he thought about my eyes.

***

“Yes, of course, I’ve lied before,” I answer. Both kids open their eyes a little wider, if that’s even possible. “When did you lie,” Lily asks.

A few choice incidents flash through my mind, but I’m looking for kid friendly. “Well, one time, I lied to your Nana, my Momma. My brother Blake and I caught a wild cat. We tied a rope around its neck, not to be mean but to keep it as a pet (not that we needed another cat in our collection of pets). Somehow it escaped and started running into the woods, howling and yowling. It got tangled in the woods.

When Nana heard the cat making those terrible noises, she ran out into the yard and saw it tangled in the saplings and bushes. She ran out to the woods, saved the cat. I think she even got scratched.”

At this point in the story, the kids are excited. It is a pretty daring story after all.

“But, that’s when Blake and I saw the fire in her eyes. She was angry at us for doing that to the cat. She came to the porch where we were still both standing, mouths open, our brown eyes fixated on her.

‘Who tied up the cat?’ she asked. Blake said that he had done it and was punished.

But you know what? I had done most of the tying of that cat, and I had told Blake to tell Nana that he had done it.”

Lily sputters a bit as she says, “You lied to Nana, your Momma?”

“Yes, I did. But later she found out the truth and she didn’t trust me as much. And I think I had to do extra chores for a week as payback for lying.”

This story is pretty devious to my 7-and-a-half-year old son and his little sister. They love it so much that they want to hear me tell more about lies I’ve told. So, I do.

We share a few stories about lying as we finish dinner and share some ice cream sandwiches for dessert. I look around, and I’m happy that our family is sharing dinner together at the table, laughing and telling jokes. But, the brown eyes? I’m happy they’re all mine.

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