Welcome to The Daily Kind, where we help you stay inspired to raise humans ready for anything.
I'm Kirk Wheeler. It's March 11th, 2021. I'm so glad you're here.
Some of the early feedback I got on this podcast was to be careful about it sounding too much like a diary, and I think that's proven to be excellent advice, but sometimes our personal stories can resonate. So I thought I'd share a very specific moment in my early life that shifted and how I think about my own ability to tell a story that simply isn't true and how it would have been in my own best interest to have used the truth as the soil.
"If you tell the truth, you don't have anything to remember." Mark Twain
SOUND OF A PERSON FALLING DOWN THE STAIRS
That's the sound of what the lie I was about to tell would sound like in the mind of my parents when I was 14, and I decided that falling down the stairs would be the best explanation for the terrible pain I was feeling in my left wrist. Here's what happened.
A few podcasts ago I mentioned that I love freestyle BMX when I was a kid and nearly every day I would spend from like the moment I got home to dinner on my bike, riding with friends, but there were some times when my grades weren't that great and I would end up grounded from my bike. That was the situation one Friday night when my parents went out and left my sister and I at home. We were living in Virginia at the time and we had a one car garage, which meant I could ride my bike in the garage and I was practicing some very specific tricks that only needed a little bit of space.
Turns out I was a little out of practice and fell forward with all of my weight on my left wrist. I felt that snap. So I went inside and told my sister what happened, bringing her into the story, and then when my parents came home, I can still remember standing right there at the staircase, explaining to them how I'd fallen down the stairs.
And in my mind, I was thinking, they'd be hearing something like this.
SOUND OF JAZZ DRUMS EMULATING PERSON FALLING DOWN STAIRS
But instead of saying I fell down the stairs, what I said was, I felt up the stairs, and that probably sounded more like this to them.
SOUND OF SINGLE SMALL BUMP
And my sister was standing just behind my parents and I could see her face and her head shaking NO, back and forth, but I didn't really realize what I said until my dad repeated it back to me. You fell up the stairs?
So I just went with it and I demonstrated this crazy fall where my wrist just caught the edge of the stair and pushed it back. Well, fast forward, next day, I have a cast on my arm. And now my parents were just telling people how clumsy I am. They let me live with this for years, although I'm sure at the time they had a pretty good idea what happened.
So it's the takeaway? (VO: Ouch. I wish I could take away the pain of a broken bone.)
How can you help them the humans you are raising understand that we only have so much brain space available, and that the best use of our limited capacity is not to try and remember things that simply aren't true, just to protect ourselves from pain, because our minds have this wonderful ability to store all sorts of details about our experience that we don't always have access to until we need it. And if we try to contradict the actual experience with our stories about the experience, we will end up telling lies that we will continually need to cover up.
I hope you find this helpful. Be sure to take care of yourself today. Hydrate. And remember, there is no perpetual parenting playbook. We're all learning as we go. And with curiosity as our map and the willingness to tell the truth, we can be ready for anything. And we won't have to remember anything either.
So good luck. You've got this. I'm rooting for you.