Sunday, August 11, 2013
During that time, our younger son was excited beyond belief to be giving his brother a CatDog "doll" for his birthday. It was large, with a plastic middle that could accordion in and out enabling the heads to talk to (and meow and growl at) each other.
Now, this is actually not a post about CatDog.
It's a post about keeping secrets.
About how hard it can be.
"Do you want to know what I got you for your birthday?" young son asked his brother who was in the upper bunk.
"No!" cried the birthday boy. "Don't tell me!"
What followed was an exchange of pleas and commands, followed by an (eavesdropping) parent intervention. "Don't tell him," we finally ordered young son. "Now go to sleep!"
After we left, there was a short stretch of silence and then our older son cried, "CATDOG? You got me CATDOG?"
We barged back in and scolded the gift-giver who said, "I didn't tell him! I promise! I just whispered it into my pillow!" He gave us an incredulous look. "And I was so quiet!"
Quiet or not, the secret wanted out. It wanted out very badly. And even though the intention was to only tell the pillow--to bury the secret deep inside the pillow--the secret didn't want to stay inside the pillow. It wanted to escape the fibers and genie up through the air and into the ears above.
It wanted to infect someone else.
Yes, infect. This week I've decided that a secret is like a virus. It's easy to spread accidentally, hard to contain even consciously, and it gives you a fever.
A fever that seems only to break when you tell somebody else.
I consider myself to be a very good secret-keeper. I like being trustworthy and dependable. I know how to keep my mouth shut. As Sammy would say, "It's in the vault."
But the past few months I've had a little insight into why people don't get away with murder. Or heists. Or even lesser crimes.
They give themselves away.
The fever hits, out it slips, and all it takes is infecting one other person for it to become airborne.
Even if that person promises they can keep a secret.
So with that very basic (yet significant) thought, I will sign off for the week wishing you good secrets, well-kept.