As some of you might know from reading this blog, when I’m not a desk-jokey with an enviable title, I can usually be found combating the lack of lucrative(ness) that this enviable titled job has bestowed on me by working in retail.
Otherwise known as, when you’re relaxing from a typical 40-hour work week, I’m greeting people, conjuring up small talk and coercing them into leaving a store with something they didn’t know they needed.
Nevertheless, it has it’s perks and one of them is seizing the opportunity to meet and talk to a large amount of people from all over the world in a somewhat controlled environment.
“Where’s your bike?” I asked the little girl wearing the pink helmet as I tried successfully to engage them with my world-class small talk.
Her parents then said, “It’s not a bike helmet. It’s a riding helmet.”
“I should have known!”
And in a whisper they said, “Yeah..well…We think the horse might be D-E-A-D.”
“That’s awful. What are you going to tell her?”
“I don’t think we are….”
“Yeah…I don’t think I would either. Shelter them as long as we can, right?”
“That’s exactly right.”
Nearly twenty years earlier, that situation played out similarly.
My childhood home was knee deep in a serious outdoor renovation. In other words, my yard fell down an embankment, and being the handyman that my dad was, he decided to do the work himself even though it took more than half the summer. The project would be called, “The Wall” and during the upheaval, my dad found a family of bunnies left abandoned by their mother who was likely and unintentionally scared off during the madness.
Keeping in mind that this was long before people had the ability to google “caring for baby bunnies.” Instead, we were essentially on our own and being the caring people that we were, we tried to save them by keeping them warm and feeding them with an eyedropper. However much to our heartbreak, 48 hours later, the bunnies died.
My mom wanted to say that they ran away.
My dad said that they couldn’t do that. They had to tell me the truth as to what happened.
My dad won.
Instead of saying that the bunnies ran away, he told me they died. (While also adding, “Your mom wanted to say that they ran away, but I insisted that we tell you the truth.” (Sorry Mom)).
Both stories are similar. Both show two different ways of handling a situation, with neither of them being necessarily right or wrong, even though people may perceive them as such.
Yet regardless of what decision is made, there’s a discussion. At some point there is a talk of “What will we tell the children?” We need to discuss, weight options, think about what’s best for them.
But before I give the reason as to why I bring up these two stories, I want to ask, What would you do? What would you say? What thought process would go in to making that choice?