Where should your loyalties lie? If you have both a spouse and a child, who deserves your loyalty more if you must choose between the two? If you keep no secrets from your spouse yet your child takes you into their confidence and specifically asks you to not tell your spouse… what do you do?
My daughter wanted to tell me something but asked me not to tell her daddy.
“I’ve decided I like Amy,” she said sheepishly.
“Amy Pond. I’ve decided I like her after all. But don’t tell Daddy!”
“Why do you not want Daddy to know that?”
“Because I said I didn’t like her and he said I would and I insisted I wouldn’t.”
“So you were wrong. What’s wrong with that?”
“Because I don’t want him to know!”
“Well, ok, but why did you decide you like her now?”
“I was reading a book about Doctor Who and I read about Amy Pond and decided I liked her.”
“Wait a minute. You didn’t like her until you read about her? Had you actually seen her before?”
“No, not really. I just saw her in that Christmas special, but she didn’t really have much of a part so I thought I didn’t like her but now I do.”
“Ok. I still don’t see why Daddy can’t know this.”
“I just don’t want him to.”
Normally, I’d tell my husband anything. That’s what brought on the deep thoughts after such a trivial conversation. As Jane gets older, I start to see situations where she might want to maintain privacy. If not from her dad, then maybe from grandparents or my friends. It made me wonder what I would keep from him, if anything.
I still don’t think I’d keep anything big from him, no matter how much she wanted me to. But ultimately I decided that her character preferences in Doctor Who were worth building trust. So I kept her secret. But encouraged her to tell her dad, while he was within earshot. So she did. Not a big secret, not a big trust. But maybe this is how it starts. Maybe if I keep the little ones, then she’ll trust me enough to understand if I don’t keep a big one from him.