Yep, I’m blogging about the motorcycle again, but at the rate my son is going, I’m afraid this will be become a staple of examples of what not to do.
My son had first real crash on his motorcycle this week, though, at first, he didn’t admit it when he walked in the door.
He hadn’t been gone that long, which surprised me. “Was it too hot to ride?” I said.
“Yeah. I’m gonna go take a shower, my arm is bothering me.”
With such a weird respond I pressed him further. “Your arm is bothering you? Did you wreck on the bike?”
“No, my arm is just hurting.” He took off his shirt and turned away from me to put it in the hamper.
One look at the scratches on his back and I knew he was lying. “Son, I grew up around motorcycles. I know what road rash looks like. You wrecked on the bike.” Even at this point, I still managed to keep my calm, but after eighteen years of raising kids I’ve gotten pretty good at glaring in such a way it puts the fear of what I might say to their dad in them.
“Yes.” He burst into tears. “Please don’t take the bike away.”
“Son, I’m not going to take the bike away. Why do you think I bought you the helmet and riding gloves, and ask that you wear solid shoes and pants every time you ride? I knew you would dump the bike.” I haven’t even put the new grips for the bike on yet for this very reason. “Everyone who has ever learned to ride a motorcycle has crashed at least once. Now, be honest with me, what were you doing?”
He sniffled, his words hiccuped and choppy. “Trying to jump.”
I pinched the bridge of my nose. “You mean the jump your older brother told you about?”
His nod made me sigh. “Son, you have been riding for less than two weeks. You don’t even know what you should be doing in the air to land safely from a jump. We talked about this. That kind of overconfidence can cost you your life. Please tell me you, at least, realize this?”
He nodded some more.
“And never lie about this kind of stuff again, especially when it’s about the motorcycle. Because it’s easy to chalk up any ache you experience at your age to growing pains, but being involved in a motorcycle crash and your arm hurts now warrants a doctor visit and an x-ray.”
Thankfully, the x-ray showed no broken bones and his arm is feeling better every day, but this experience highlights one of the worst frailties of the human condition–the thinking that a lie will somehow help you escape punishment. Even if you manage to benefit, for a time, from a lie. In the end, lies only end up hurting you more. Imagine if his arm had been broken, but I had believed his initial lie. I wouldn’t have considered seeking help for his pain for who knows how many days later. And in the end, the truth would have come out anyway–like it always does. So, no matter the consequences, telling the truth is always better. Just start there and let the chips fall where they may.