Skip to main content

A Vote of Confidence

I remember as if it were yesterday; the day I told Mum The Big Lie. It was outrageous and obvious--I am not a good liar, which probably saved me from going down that road very far.

I was about 12 years old; a time when school was not my favourite place in the world to be and I went through a phase of playing truant, either alone or with a friend.

On one occasion I read the journals of Queen Victoria, while safely hidden in the branches of a yew tree in our village church yard, with the clock in the bell tower chiming away the day in 15 minute increments.

On the day of The Big Lie, I left for school as usual, walked down the hill into the village where I met the friend I usually rode the school bus with. We hid out in the church yard until my mum left for work, and then we let ourselves into the house.

We had fun watching TV, closing the curtains in the living room to block out the sunlight. At some point during the day, I have no idea why, we decided to melt some baking chocolate in a saucepan. We didn't know that this should be done in a double boiler, over water, or at the very least over a very low light, and the chocolate scorched and burned onto Mum's saucepan. No amount of scrubbing could get the blackened utensil back to its original state.

When it was nearing time to "return from school," we went back into hiding and Mum came home. Mum was looking puzzled when I arrived a little later. "Darling," she said, "The curtains were drawn when I got home, and the saucepan was burned. Do you know why?"

"Oh," I said, "I wasn't feeling well, so I came home. But then I felt better, so I went back to school."

Yeah, right! Who ever heard of a kid coming home from school and going back?

If Mum knew I was lying, she didn't say so, and that was worse by far than if she had. Trust given when it was so undeserved, had a profound effect on me. I felt awful and determined never to betray her trust in me again if I could help it.

I've thought lately about the importance of giving someone a vote of confidence. In a recent crisis situation I found myself doing that, against all of my natural impulses; shifting to an attitude of faith in the person and making the choice to assume that they had already done their best to solve the problem at hand.

I think that this changed the person's experience of the situation significantly. Trust was given as a gift, not based on apparent facts.

I learned that withholding a toxic injection of paralyzing guilt and shame, and instead choosing to believe the best of someone, is a powerful thing. Grace is a powerful thing.

But of course, Mum knew that.

Popular posts from this blog

Just Joy!

Our family has a standing date for Sunday dinner on the first Sunday of every month. Not that we don't see each other at any other time, but we all know that particular Sunday is pretty much for sure--and I look forward to it so much--the front door bursting open and our house being filled once more with the voices and vibrancy of six grandchildren and their parents. 

This week Spero, Brenda's new Australian Shepherd puppy came too, and met his extended family, leaving Molson at home to have a rest! He was duly adored by all of us.

He came with a dazzling array of toys and is proving a fast learner, already sitting on command and responding to Tori's training. I was so impressed at her technique of quickly rewarding a turnaround from any slight naughtiness with praise for "good sitting," or "good" any other desirable behaviour! 

Tippy had her hair cut stunningly and bravely short the day before; making a statement about who she is as a unique individual, o…

The Secret Adventures of Susan's Scottish Scarf

By Belinda (with a lot of help from Susan :))
I was saying goodnight to her at the front door this week when she told me. There was apparently more to the scarf around her neck than I knew. 
The scarf had been a gift from me for Susan's birthday on Tuesday December 18th. It had been her 60th; and that day I had treated her to lunch to celebrate. 
We met at a tiny restaurant, Port Soiree, in Schomberg,near her office. It was a restaurant neither of us had been to before and it turned out to be a gem, with artsy ambiance, amazing food, wonderful service and modest pricing. In other words, it was perfect!