Cindy Lou Who: “Santie Claus, why? Why are you taking our Christmas tree? Why?”
Narrator: But do you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick, that he thought up a lie and he thought it up quick.
Grinch: “Why my sweet little tot…”
Narrator: The fake Santie Claus lied…
Grinch: “…there’s a light on this tree that won’t light on one side. So I’m taking it home to my workshop, my dear. I’ll fix it up there, then I’ll bring it back here.”
Narrator: And his fib fooled the child. Then he patted her head, he got her a drink and he sent her to bed.
I’ve been a father for eleven years. I have had heart disease for the last seven. I was a smoker and stopped three and a half years ago. My children knew the heart attack was a result of my smoking. Those who have smoked know have difficult it is to stop. I started again two months ago—sneaking around, burying the butts, washing clothes, gargling—doing whatever it took not to get caught.
My children had never seen me smoke—never until last night. I snuck out on one of our decks to have a smoke. One puff later, out pops my Cindy-Lou-Who. She’s ten.
“Are you smoking Dad? Why?”
I am not sure which one of us was more upset. I stood there for a second wondering what to say, wondering if I had the where-with-all to create a Grinch-like fib—a lie.
A good lie may have made the situation disappear, at least temporarily.
One of our family rules is no lying. I’ve told the children I will never lie to them, and they should never lie to me. I had to decide which the greater wrong was, telling her a lie, or telling her that I was doing something she knew could kill me—something which would crush her.
I told her the truth. Her face was expressionless. She turned and walked away.
We talked. It takes more than talking. My wife told me my daughter told her she was upset and what upset her.
I previously tried hypnosis and acupuncture—both worked right up to the point when I got back in my car. If anyone has any good ideas about how to attack this, please let me know.
My daughter is very smart, and pretty brave. Now it is my turn.
Chief Imaginist, Healthcare IT Strategy
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