By Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro

“So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies.” -1 John 2:21

Last week, I was out with my kids. Justin loves to take me on sunset rides. It’s one of my favorite things to do. My escape from everything. These are golden opportunity moments because I get to hear what my kids are thinking and feeling.

Imagine my surprise when I heard my daughter say, “Mom, I can’t take it anymore. I have to confess. Justin, it’s time we tell mom.” People, it was a good thing I wasn’t driving because you would have heard screeching car tires coming to a complete stop. I was drinking my Perrier water, I think the bubbles almost choked me as I screamed, “Oh my God!!! What have you done?”

My son had that poker face, avoiding eye contact, while my daughter had that nervous laughter. I, on the other hand, was screaming, “What? What is it?” My eyes were as green as they could get waiting for her confession. I wouldn’t want my blood pressure taken at that moment. Get this full picture? Then my daughter said, “Mom, I’m so sorry for telling you a half-truth. Technically, (the lawyer in her was coming out) we didn’t lie per se. We just didn’t tell you the whole truth. You know when you were in Europe? We did NOT eat healthy like we had promised.”

I was on the verge of hyperventilating, so hearing that they were talking about not eating healthy was a huge sigh of relief. She went on to defend her and her brother, who was silent as a mouse. Still not making eye contact. “Mom, it’s not our fault. You said, “Justin and Ellianna, while I’m gone, you are to eat four vegetables and four fruits a day, take your vitamins, and make sure you get 8 hours of sleep. And do your homework.” We did as you said."

"Every day Nanna made the same mixed bag of vegetables. Corn, peas, carrots, and string beans. So we made sure we ate the four. Then we ate bananas, pears, apples, strawberries, cantaloupe, and melon. Nanna made it into a fruit salad. So, technically, we ate more than the required vegetables and fruit. Cause I ate tomato and that’s a fruit. Justin ate a cucumber. So we did do what you asked. We even ate more. But then we ate store-bought pizza for two weeks. Pizza has cheese and tomatoes, and that’s important. Oh, we ate cake, cookies, ice cream, and chocolate every single day, and Mom, we drank SODA. Justin, I don’t know about you, but I just can’t live with this guilt any longer. Mom, we are sorry.”