Yesterday, in my illustrious spring break adventures (that’s tongue in cheek), I had a wonderful visit with my mom. As usual on these visits, we reminisce about days gone by, growing up, and the inevitable “do you remember when?” or “have you heard about so and so?” Mom is always a fabulous listener, and her thoughtfulness does not go unappreciated. In fact, upon leaving, I felt as though I should have slipped her some cash for being, unbeknownst to her, my therapist for the day.
Somehow in our varied conversations, the topic of my late father came up. He’s quite a topic! I’m not sure how we arrived at the discussion of how Dad hid money, but we had a good laugh about it.
The story, in a nutshell, is about how- when we moved my dad into an assisted care facility- my mom found money here and there that he had put in places and forgotten. He basically hid money. It brought up some stories and thinking about the reasons and ramifications of his financial strategies (ahem!), but it got me thinking about why people hide things.
I know people-I imagine we all do- who hide things. (I’m including myself in that list of people I know.) By things I mean the tangible, concrete things (like money) and the intangible things that perhaps are just as damaging if they are kept from someone you love or have the potential to harm the greater good.
Look at the headlines in the news and you can more often than not find the parallels between someone hiding something and the problem at large. Politics. War. Religion. Money. Relationships. Racism. Sexism. Misogyny. Homophobia. And what is behind many, if not most, of these worldly problems? Fear.
I’m thinking today about the courage it takes to NOT hide things. And how that relates to teaching children. In what ways can we show children that hiding our true thoughts and feelings, no matter how how honest they are, is not the proper way to grow? To become better human beings, we have to step out of the dark of what we may be hiding-or want to hide- acknowledge it, and move forward.
Whoa, now that was deep! My mom probably never would have realized our nonchalant conversation about Dad’s money hiding would lead to these spiraling thoughts swirling around in my head today. Like I said when I started these ramblings, I should have slipped her some money for her therapeutical wisdom.
I could have hid it under her pillow.