The Room In Between

Secrets and Lies. A lie between two people is like a vacant room yawning between two occupied ones. You stand in the doorway across the precipice staring at each other silently wanting, waiting for a word, a phrase, a brief conversation to dissolve the walls and disappear the air, taking with it that lodged brick now suffocating your hearts. The fingertips touch but don’t feel. The eyes look but can’t see. Frantic fluttering words wait upon the true ones, the fearful ones, the naked shameful ones forsaken and lost in the silence  between. It’s lonely living inside a lie. So lonely and quiet, the ears burn from the silence where every labored breath is strained through and pushed down and counted. The last breath of a drowning man.

My daughter made a very poor choice this week. When I called her on it, she lied. I hate lies. I understand why she lied because I was a child once too. Kids do stupid shit and then they lie. It’s hard to trust the truth. What’s even harder is that it has shut down communication between us.  I’m also very impatient in conflict. I have very little tolerance for sustained emotional discomfort. I try to get rid of it as soon as possible. But here I am, having to make peace with my heartbreak, my confusion, my worry and my sadness. My discomfort.

My child is very different from me which is God’s blessing and God’s teaching. She shuts down in the face of stress, and her internal processes much slower. It takes her a while to surface. So that means I have to wait. Wait for her, wait for truth, wait for……

So while I wait in this doorway, I will call up a different kind of silence in prayer and maybe I can infuse the birthing room in between us….. with light and love and lovely.

  1. I hate lies as much as you do. I have three kids all grown now. My son is a professor, my oldest daughter just got her master degree and now is pre-med getting ready for medical school,my youngest daughter graduated from Vanderbilt University and now is in her second year of medical school. Being the strong mom that you are is what will move your child forward. I set the rules in my house and didnt take any crap off of them. All of it was mixed with great love, talking and much of my time, and great fun. Samara lied and it says she is intellegent, she is thinking and she knows she is wrong. You know your child. With your dicipline and your love she will get it. This is a process with kids. Trust when Im say that when she is ready for college you will have taught her well. All kids want limits even if they tell a lie or fight you to do something. Finally GOD tells us to train up your children in the way they should go and when they get old the wont depart from it. I know this is true because I did this very thing and am now watching my kids moving to their greatness.In eleven years you will watch her move into her greatness. It all starts here with this moment. GOD bless you and your family. Deborah Carter SHALOM

  2. Ms. Toussaint, I love your writing!!! I felt the tension in your writing and I also saw grace as well. The grace that you have extended towards your daughter to even allow a room to be birth between the two of you that holds the true. I love how you put yourself in her shoes by remembering the time you were a kid and said a fib or two. The great thing is that you realize that you both are a lesson for each other. I hope that you will continue to learn the lessons that God has intended for you both to learn and share. I see that parenting is a lovely journey with quite a few twist and turns to keep it interesting.

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