He was a lout and she kept snakes. We tell them that, and other nonsense about their parents. It’s the only way to keep them from asking questions, like why they live with us now and not them. Or, why their folks never even come to visit.
My wife, their mother’s sister, makes up all sorts of stories about them. The best is the one about them going to the Mongolia tundra to work with NASA astronauts in their top secret lab. By the time she gets through the adventures they had just trying to get to the astronauts, the kids are so transfixed, they forget to think about when they will see their parents again.
In one way, a weird way, we’re keeping their hopes up. But I sometimes wonder if we’re also doing them some sort of damage, making shit up like that. At some point they’ll grow out of the stories. Probably about the time they figure out Santa Claus is a joke. Now, I never known a kid that went into shock when they learned Santa ain’t real. But, stories about your mom and dad? That’s different. That’s personal. That’s real.
I asked my wife how she will handle it when Hatch, their eldest, starts figuring it out. She promises that’s when she’ll tell him, and our two, who are older than their kids, that the Bonnie and Clyde of the family are in prison. But not for the real reason they are in the joint. She says she’ll weave it into her stories they went down for something stupid, like some mishap on their travels in some barely-on-the-map place. I mean, what kid could handle knowing their mom and dad are in for killing 14 people in cold blood? It’s the truth, but what the hell! So, I’ll let her run with it. Her family, her call.
But, kids these days? I’m just sayin’. Here’s the deal: Someone’s gonna slip up. The in-laws will forget, call them by their real names, or something, and before ya know it…a coupl’a twitches of the thumbs on those phones of theirs and there it will all be, in black and white.
At some point, the truth will have to have out.
Get to the point, that’s what I say! I don’t think I’ve written a prompt in all these years that places all 3 at the top in the first 2 sentences.