Question: Are exaggerations a form of creativity, or are exaggerations simply lies told with excitement?
“Someone pushed Joe down today.” Joe’s teacher told me. “I think it knocked the wind out of him a little. He was fine, though.” She continued, “I heard Joe talk about it on the playground. He’s gone from telling the other kids he was knocked out for a second to 15 minutes. The time keeps increasing.”
“Good night, Joe.” I said, as I tucked him in bed. “Mommy,” Joe began. “I fell in the river today.”
“You did?” I said startled. I knew he went fishing with Daddy, but Daddy said nothing about Joe falling in the river. Suddenly, visions of my scared kid flailing in the water filled my head. “Are you Okay?” I asked. Obviously, he was OK, because I was tucking him in bed.
“Yeah.” He said. “I was scared. I had to reach for a branch to get back up.” He went on to tell me how he was walking on a log, but the log went under water and he went under water with it.
“Joe fell in the river?” I asked Rob, when I returned to the living room.
“What?” Rob asked. “Fell in the river?”
“Joe just told me he fell in the river and went under water.”
“Joe stumbled along side the river a little, and he got water in his boots.”
I was a Campfire Girl. Every year the Campfire Girls drove from Atlanta to Toccoa, GA to spend at weekend at Camp Toccoa. (Shout out to the following Campfire Girl Moms of Camp Toccoa trips: Nash, Newsome, Young and Wright. They were the coolest camping Moms!)
Most rides to and from Toccoa, GA were uneventful. However, for some reason, I decided to exaggerate about one particular return trip with the Campfire Girls. While eating dinner with my family after returning from Camp Toccoa, I told my Mom and Dad about the weekend trip. And, I told them about our eventful ride home. I told them how our group got stuck in traffic due to a bad accident we witnessed.
I described how a blue sedan, traveling in the opposite direction of our car, swerved to avoid a stalled tractor trailer. The blue sedan jumped the barrier and landed on our side of the highway. The sedan landed three vehicles in front of us. It was the scariest thing I had ever seen. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. We saw the man stumble, literally, out of the sedan. My friend and I were crying, because we were scared. I told my Mom I was happy to be back home, safe.
Note: The person driving our car was my best friend’s Mom. Included in the list above as one of the coolest camping moms.
The following weekend, my best friend and I were playing a softball game. She and I were on opposite teams, playing against each other. My Mom and my friend’s Mom sat on the bleachers, watched the game, and chit-chatted with each other.
Later that night, at the dinner table, my Mom asked, “Lenore, how many cars were involved in that accident last weekend?” I looked up. Not sure why she was bringing it up again. “Um, I think there were four cars.” She nodded and then said, “That is so interesting that an accident – as horrific as that one was – did not make the news.” I shrugged my shoulders, trying to play it off. “You know, Lenore.” My Mom began, “I talked to Carol’s Mom, and she didn’t recall such an accident.”
Again I ask the question, are exaggerations a form of creativity, or are exaggerations simply lies told with excitement? I suppose my exaggeration was a lie, because there was no accident encountered on the drive home. Still, I wonder (okay, worry) that the boys’ exaggerations are stepping stones to full blown lying. Let’s be honest here, I’ve done my share of exaggerating and lying.
When I picked Joe up from school, his teacher told me, “Joe taught Aiden several lessons today. I was proud of him.”
“Yeah.” Joe said, as he got in the car. “I taught him, like, two lessons.”
“I think you taught him three lessons, Joe.” His teacher said.
“Oh yeah. Well, actually, I probably taught him five lessons.”
“He’s good at exaggerating.” I said. “I’m actually writing about exaggerating. I’m wondering if his exaggerating will lead to telling lies.”
His teacher shook her head and smiled, “No. His behavior is age appropriate. And, kids figure it out. It’s normal.”
Well, so much for my post today. I guess it was much ado about nothing; and, that’s no exaggeration.