We'd do anything for our children -- but sometimes that means keeping some very deep secrets from them.
He Has To Be Parent, Brother, And Secret-Keeper
“I was/am a parental figure to my orphaned younger siblings and there’s something I’ll never tell my sister. When she was going through a terrible period as a drug addict (late teens), she stole our mom’s wallet and all of our mom’s credit cards/bank accounts had to be canceled and changed. Our mom was in bad health but had a huge life insurance policy she had gotten almost 15 years prior, when she was healthier. When the accounts were canceled, she forgot to change the auto-payments for the insurance. It was declined and subsequently canceled. She couldn’t get another policy anymore- she had too many health problems. My mom told me about all this in confidence.
Less than two years later our mom died. Everyone thought she had a life insurance policy to help us, but she didn’t. She left absolutely nothing. I’m the only one who knows why. It would kill my sister to know her addiction cost us several hundred thousand dollars. The recovery from our mom’s death was really hard (siblings moved in with me, etc) and the insurance money could have saved us a long period of financial and emotional struggle.
My sister is an incredibly kind, loving and loyal person. She was a teenager at the time and going through a horrible period in her life regarding untreated mental illness. She came out of it and is one of my favorite people in the world. That incident is the only thing she’s done to hurt/screw anyone over. She was just young and hurting and naive.
It will never be worth telling her. She’s been through enough. We all have. I will never have more resentment than love for my little sis.”
A Bug Jumped In Her Child’s Stroller…And She (Tried) To Smack It
“I went for a walk once with my daughter when she was about a year old. It was along a cement paved path that went through this little scenic park area, lots of suburban nature and stuff. I had brought the stroller along but she was getting a bit antsy, so I took her out and sat her on the handle, facing me, and I held onto her waist and basically used her bum and my forearms to push the stroller.
As we walked, this section of the pavement in front of us just ended up being just covered in crickets. I don’t know why there were so many, I had never known this trail to have crazy amounts of crickets midday. Well, I anxiously start pushing through them with the stroller, hoping if I move slowly, they’ll have time to hop out of the way.
They mostly hopped away. But one hopped right up onto my daughter’s face. I panicked, and in a split-second reaction, I straight up smacked her. The cricket hopped off her face again before I got to it, but she looked at me so stunned and started crying. And then I cried because I felt horrible, but I couldn’t stop laughing because of how stupid the whole thing was.
Got lots of weird looks as I cried/laughed the rest of the short walk home. She will never know.”
‘The Ranger Handbook’ From A Father To A Lost Son
“My son’s grandparents have custody of him in Australia. His mother and I were a one-time fling on a beach in North Carolina. She went to prison for trafficking large quantities of drugs in Australia, which is a major offense over there. I think she’s serving 25 to life or something.
One day I was called by the Australian version of Child Services telling me that I need to come pick up my son. I didn’t even know that I had a son until then! He was 7 at the time.
Apparently, what had happened was she put my name down on his birth certificate and kept my contact info on a book mark that hung from her rear view mirror.
His grandparents came and got him. They tell him that his daddy is off fighting in ‘The War’ and I’ve only spoken with him twice. I have sent over my part of a paternity test a few times to see if he is actually mine or not, but his grandparents keep ignoring them. I think they’re afraid that I will just show up one day and take him away. He doesn’t really know me and it would be awkward for me to take custody of a 12-year-old that I don’t even know if he is mine or not.
I think he’s gonna be pissed when he finds out the truth, so I took a leather bound journal and wrote out all the things about me that I think he should know along with the real story about why I wasn’t around. I’ve included several stories about me and my time in the Army, my travels, and a lot of good advice covering many situations that he may find himself in, complete with glossary and index. I wrapped up this journal along with my own dog eared copy of ‘The Ranger Handbook’ with my own notes written in, an old set of my dog tags, and a way to contact me. I sent it to a lawyers office in Australia with instructions to deliver it to him on his 18th birthday. I’m looking forward to the reddit post about his delivery when the time comes!!”
Poker With The Kids
“That the only reason I taught my kids how to play poker was so that I could learn their tells and know when they’re lying to me.
It started with them making up stupid lies and expecting me to believe them. ‘Yes, Mom. I brushed my teeth.’ Even though there’s clearly still bits of food in between their braces and their toothbrush was bone dry. I figured that teaching them how to play poker would help them learn how to lie better with the added benefit of learning their mannerisms when they lied in the first place.
My husband says this is a ‘newbie move’ but I don’t care.”
A Baby In One Arm, A Giant Spider In The Other
“I will never, ever tell my daughter that when she was one-week old I accidentally threw her across the room onto a wood floor. It was about 2 am, I was breastfeeding her in the living room and a huge spider crawled on my arm. The whole new-baby/late-at-night thing made me stupid, so my reaction was to use the arm I was holding the baby in to get the spider off my other arm. My little girl went flying. It was horrible. She was fine, though. Completely unharmed, just kind of pissed off.
NO ONE TELL HER.”
The Tragedy Of The Chosen One
“Years ago we had an awesome cat name Chosen One. We all loved this cat but especially my oldest son who, at the time, was just beginning to drive (he was about 17 or so.) One day my son was leaving the house to go somewhere and when he left he reached down and gave Chosen a little love and out the door he went. Unbeknownst to him the cat had followed him out the door and for some reason the cat must have ran under the car (nobody actually witnessed this event so we’re speculating on what exactly happened.) So my son drives off and a little while later I go outside only find Chosen laying on the driveway curled up in a ball dead. We think the kitty ran under the car or was in front of the tire or something and when my son drove away he ran over Chosen and killed him. We were all pretty upset of course and when my son came home we told him Chosen had been hit by a car in the road and died. We’ve never told him, and never will, that we’re pretty sure he was the one that killed the cat…he’d blame himself and forever feel guilty about killing his favorite cat.”
What A Decision For The Mother — Her Life Or Her Child?
“When my first wife was 4 months pregnant she was diagnosed with Stage 3/4 breast cancer, at 18 weeks the doctor gave her a few choices. Her best chance of survival was to abort the baby and have aggressive chemo, we talked about it, and she decided to try and carry our Son to term. They delivered our son healthy about 6 weeks early, she died about 5 months after he was born. I have since remarried and he is now almost 18. I don’t plan on telling him that she saved him at her expense. It was a tough time and I don’t blame him, and never have.
I just want to address a few things: After her mastectomy, and a lengthy biopsy she was found to have an extremely aggressive type of breast cancer, in fact we later found out it had spread considerably, the treatment would have been in vain, even If we had aborted, her life expectancy would probably have been less than 2 years. We made the choice to keep him before we knew this, invasive treatments and MRI / multiple X-rays would have put some risk on my son, so we took a chance. He knows she died of Cancer, and he knows it was soon after he was born, but not the details, he never knew his mum, he does not grieve for her, it’s cold, but true. She has written to him, a number of letters, the first of which he gets at 18, the next at 21 and the final one when he gets married. They are sealed and private, I have no wish to open them, but it remains possible that she will detail what happened, although I think it’s unlikely, as before she died she made me promise to protect him from the pain of her illness and decision.”
The Secret History Of His Grandmother
“I’m not a mom, but my grandmother was. She was born in 1886.
She never told anyone that she was black.
According to census records, when she moved from the town she was born in, in Mississippi, after she married my grandfather, her race went from ‘b’ to ‘w’.
My grandfather, whose lineage has been thoroughly recorded back to great grandpappy King Charlemagne in about 800 AD, is about as European in ancestry as you can be. My father had, and my brother has, kinky black hair, brown eyes, and dark complexion. Most of my father’s 12 siblings have similar features. I have a different mother than my brother, who was from Norwegian ancestry, so my hair is straight and blonde, though it turns browner the older I get.
My father was quite racist. So racist, in fact, that he raised my brother and in the rural woods and taught us how to hunt, fish, build traps, build a cabin, mine for gold, and basically hide and hoard. This was in preparation for the great race war that he knew was coming. He used the word racist slurs in casual conversation. ‘Honey, who was that —— singer I liked so much?’ ‘Charlie Pride.’ ‘That’s right! When I first heard him sing, I had no idea he was a —–. Sings just like a white man!’
He died before I got into genealogy. I would have loved to say, ‘Hey, dad, guess what?’
I have no idea if my grandfather knew.”
The Terror Of Postpartum Depression
“That I wanted to give him to the fire station for a couple weeks. I didn’t tell anyone until he was two weeks old because I thought it was something wrong with him and me. I didn’t think I loved him and I was so ashamed.
I ended up telling my husband in desperation one night and he snatched my son away, telling him that he’d find a mommy who actually loved him.
Neither of us knew it was severe postpartum depression. I thought I was incapable of that love and my husband thought I was a monster.
I am still battling the PPD and anxiety a year later, but I even now can’t believe how much I love him. I love him so much it hurts.
I’ll never tell my son about that horrible night. But I will tell him that depression and anxiety are never ever shameful.”
To Keep A Secret From Your Children — For 60 Years…
“Well, I’m a guy, so I’m going to tell a story my grandmother never told her children. She’s pretty old and talks to herself. She told this story to someone imaginary while I was in the next room fixing her kitchen cabinets.
So my grandmother is from England and she got married when she was a teenager. Her husband was a drunk and used to hit her. Of course back then the cops would come and break it up, but they wouldn’t do anything else, so she moved back into her dad’s house. Shortly after she met my grandfather who was an American soldier stationed in England. They dated for a while and decided to get married, but my grandmother was still married. It took awhile to track down her husband so they could get a divorce and on top of everything he wanted to be paid for the divorce. At first my grandparents said screw that mess and started living together like any other married couple. After a couple years though they decided to pay him off and be done with it.
Now, in the time they were living together before they got married there were two children born, my uncle and father. Of course, they never told anyone this because you didn’t have children out of wedlock, or get divorced, or tell your children about that type of stuff I guess. Anyways, now I have this secret that I’ve only ever told one other person, my mother, and I don’t know what to do about. My uncle and father are 60+ years old, so I figure why tell them now, it’s been to long. Maybe I’ll say something after grandma passes.”
A Son With A Terrifying Political Affiliation
“I know he injured at least two people, and was injured himself at least once at political rallies that turned into a brawls
Some nights he would come home bleeding and with a black eye. He was a boxer so I thought nothing of it, and I’m sure a few of those were boxing injuries, but I know he was hurt a few times in those political riots.
Nearly a decade later, he moved out (and of the country, coincidentally) my husband and I finally decided it was time to pack up his old room and turn his bedroom into something else.
We found a few things that linked him to local fascist groups, just a few scraps he probably forgot to take with him. One of those things was an old newspaper clipping where I can clearly see him delivering a hard punch to the face of a political opponent. He’s in a disguise, but I still recognize the clothes he was wearing. Then there was another picture from the same article where the guy he punched is laying on the ground and my son is getting ready to hit someone else.
After we gathered everything incriminating, my husband and I decided to burn the evidence he left behind. Nothing could be gained by keeping those things. The articles were quite old, and my son moved to a new country that doesn’t have his brand of fascism. My son followed a specific local type of fascism.
It’s been bad here for a while, and I’m worried that more of our young will turn to fascism. They always hear about their parents or grandparents talking about their youth, when the country was ruled by a dictator. They hear about how easy it was back then and how we had zero worries. The young people now need to worry about unemployment, debt, a dwindling population, and tensions with immigrants. We never had to worry about any of those things.
Then from their families and from school they learn about how great we used to be. Then they step outside and they see how far we’ve fallen. We used to be great but now everyone sees southern Europe as a liability. I think it’s easy for them to turn to fascism in an attempt to reclaim that greatness.
I miss those years, but I think fascism and dictatorships should be left in the past.”
Her Mother Was The Mistress!
“They never told me that my dad was actually married when he met my mom. I found out when going through some old stuff and I´ve found an old ID of my dad that he kept for whatever reason. These old IDs from a communist time were actually these little books of sorts where every major doing in person life was listed, such as married to such and such. I was listing through it and found this entry about a marriage a year or so before my birth and thought ‘aw, this is when they married…wait a second, that´s not my mom´s name’. When I asked mom she was not really eager to talk about it, just something about the marriage of dad and this other woman not working and she quickly changed the topic. It´s a weird feeling, as I´m here because my father was unfaithful. Sometimes I wonder who she was, just out of curiosity. My dad died when I was little, so I´ll never know.”
Dad Saves Diploma From Son
“That his diploma was changed after graduation.
My son’s high school has a stupid way of figuring class rank, I’ll save you the details but it’s more than just GPA. So, he went into his senior year with the second highest GPA in his class, one point below this arrogant jerk who took every opportunity to rub it in my son’s face that his GPA was higher and he would be the valedictorian.
My son looked over the graduation class rank requirements carefully and figured out how to pass this student. It meant that he needed to take a very tough class schedule and he’d have to ace those classes, he could have coasted through his senior year and still have been ranked in the top ten but he wanted to be ranked first. He worked his ass off. The other student took blow off classes his last semester thus missing out on honors points which count toward the final rank.
As a result, my son became the valedictorian. I was so proud of him for how hard he worked.
The other kid’s parents were not happy. I guess they went into the school to complain. Not only that but on the senior night program where you can buy “ads” to congratulate your kid, they bought one that said, ‘You’ll always be our valedictorian.’
Welp, everyone in the school knew my son was the top student except one key person: the ditzy English teacher. The ditzy English is the one who organizes graduation and she apparently does the diplomas (orders them, etc.) – somehow she missed that my son was the valedictorian- all the senior award nights, the list in the paper, etc etc did not clue her in somehow. I don’t know how BUT the result was that my son’s diploma had an emblem on it that said, ‘Salutatorian’ and she was the one who put it there.
My son did not notice this. In the excitement of the day, none of us really looked closely at the diploma. It wasn’t until he left for their graduation party that night that I opened the diploma at home to look at it again and I saw the emblem. Salutatorian. Goddamnit. And I knew who did it and I immediately got her cell phone number and called her.
At first she was confused that my son was the valedictorian and it seemed like she didn’t believe me then I asked her to check the FREAKING Graduation Program that she just attended!!! Then she was all apologetic, she had put the emblem on the diploma at the last minute, she just thought it would be a nice extra touch, etc etc. So, she said she had another emblem that says valedictorian and we could switch it out on his diploma and I went right over and got it done and it looked fine.
I was relieved that my son never saw the wrong emblem but it wasn’t until I was driving home after meeting the teacher that it occurred to me: this means that the jerk student has Valedictorian on his diploma. I’m sure his parents feel vindicated.
It really irks me after how hard my son worked to pass this kid, I will never tell him and hopefully, he’ll never find out.”
Inspired To Paint Her Like One Of The French Girls
“I’m not the mom in this case but I know my parents know something about me that we’ve never discussed.
I was around 4 or 5 when Titanic came out and my parents took me to see it at the movie theatre. I had never seen a naked person before other than family, and I glimpsed the naked Rose on the couch being painted just before my mom had a chance to put her hand over my eyes.
Well, I was quite the drawer (is that a word?) as a child, and I drew my version of a naked Rose on a couch on some computer paper with a pen. I hid it under the runway rug in the hallway, where there were wood floors. Well, a few days later, I checked under the rug to see where my naked Rose was, and it was gone.
My parents never confronted me about it and I never asked what happened to it. I was an extremely strange child though, like really strange to the point that they thought I may be autistic at one point (I’m not, apparently), so maybe they just didn’t want to know why I would draw a naked woman.”