Joy sink

“Grandma’s coming home tomorrow right? I can’t wait!”

That was Beth Wednesday night, talking to me and our pastor on the first night of confirmation class this (school) year.

“So when will she be coming HOME home?”

That was when Beth realized home can be a relative term.

“Oh,” she replied, crestfallen.

That was when I told her the truth, unvarnished, like I usually do.

Trust is a precious commodity. Cliche, I know – but for good reason. I don’t like being a kill-joy, but I want her to believe me when anxiety has its grip on her, and I tell her why everything will be ok. She’s old enough to remember the times I told her everything wasn’t, that I don’t shy away from inconvenient, uncomfortable, or unsettling truths. I hope she remembers those moments of candor when the truth doesn’t hurt.

Although folks say I’m too skinny these days, there’s a big but in the room.

I realize there’s still a need for comfort; that there’s a way to discuss disappointment in a way which doesn’t flatten wide swaths of hope. I suppose I’m like a lot of parents when I say I wish I was better at it.

Maybe this is one of those times I should let myself off the hook. Words can’t solve every problem, sooth every ill. Many lessons are learned best through experience, and she’ll see things are much better, even if they don’t live up to her original expectations.

The good news is she’ll get to see this weekend, along with the rest of us.