Every family has secrets. Some are bigger than others. The ones I’m concerned with here are the ones designed to keep the daily emotional peace.
You know the type. It’s like the one where I tell my sister not to tell my mother that I’ve gone skydiving or otherwise engaged in adventuresome behavior, because my mom doesn’t get a say in my choice of activities, and I don’t want to have to fight about that, yet again.
It’s like the one where my wife doesn’t tell her mom when people she distantly remembers die, because her mom will worry incessantly about whether she’s next.
Perhaps most amusing about these secrets is what they sound like when their rules are broken. A friend yesterday described it best when retelling this conversation with her dad, who lives half a world away:
Dad: Honey, I’m so sick, I don’t know if I’ll survive.
Friend: Dad, have mom take you to the hospital
Dad: I can’t, she told me not to tell you because you’d worry. So, don’t tell her I told you.