Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Uncle Matt is in SO MUCH trouble after Jack’s blog. Yesterday Jack asked if he could do a post. He said it was desperately important. After about an hour, he came into the kitchen and told Mum that he had posted – and could she read it. She was busy washing the pots after tea, but he said it was really important she read it now! So I took over the washing up, and he and Mum sat at the table while she read it on her phone. After she had read it, her face was really red and she looked really angry. She patted Jack’s hand, thanked him, said he’d been good boy and had done the right thing. I was really intrigued. She called Uncle Matt, and they went in the living room and shut the door. Theo came downstairs, because he could hear them shouting from his bedroom. (Actually, I think Mum was doing most of the shouting!) I put the kettle on, I could sense a family meeting brewing.
By the time I had made three cups of tea and put two glasses of milk on the table for the boys, Mum and Uncle Matt came through, and Mum announced we were having a family meeting. She didn’t seem to notice that I had done all the prep work, but we all sat down.
Mum said Uncle Matt had something to say. He gulped and told Jack and Theo that he had been wrong yesterday about keeping secrets from Mum and he was very sorry he had made them promise. Mum then asked Jack and Theo what had happened in the park. They told the story, and it sounded really frightening. Well, Jack’s version did. Theo’s version sounded more like a game. He thought they were playing hide and seek. It’s only when he heard Jack shout that he was scared that he knew they weren’t playing.
What upset Mum was that Uncle Matt had made the boys promise not to tell her. We have always been a team with Mum. We don’t keep secrets. We keep nice surprises, like birthday presents that Alison and Mrs Smith help us buy. But we don't keep big secrets from each other.
Mum asked Jack to explain how it made him feel. Jack tried to put it into words, but I could see it was hard for him. ‘I knew I wanted to tell you,’ said Jack to Mum. ‘I knew you would be cross that we had lost Theo, but I knew you’d be proud of me for asking Jesus and listening for his ideas and thoughts.’ Mum nodded and Jack took a deep breath as he continued speaking. ‘But Uncle Matt made us promise. I didn’t want to. But when a grown up tells you something, you have to listen to them, don’t you? I really didn’t know what to do. Should I tell you, like I know you would want me to, or should I not tell you, like I promised Uncle Matt I’d do.’
Mum looked at Uncle Matt with a look which said ‘See, I told you!’
‘So, how did you come up with the idea of doing the blog?’ I asked. ‘That was great way of doing the right thing without actually breaking your promise.’
‘I asked Jesus for help, because I didn’t know what to do, but I wanted to tell Mum. Then I remembered how upset you were last week when Mum read your blog. I thought if Mum read my blog, and I had written about it, then she would know.’
Mum smiled, ‘That was a great idea, Jack. Well done, you did the right thing. Now, I think we need more family rules.’ She stopped and took a drink of tea. ‘I know I have always to you to obey grown ups and to not break your promises,’ We all nodded, ‘And those things are important, but now you are getting older, we’re going to tweak those rules a bit. OK?’ Jack and I looked at each other and nodded.
'Sometimes it isn't best to keep secrets. Sometimes you need to tell someone.'
‘But what a grown up tells you not to tell anyone?’ I asked. ‘Don’t grown ups always know best?’
‘No,’ quickly answered Uncle Matt. ‘Grown ups don’t always know best. Sometimes big people can make the biggest mistakes. You always need to tell your Mum, or that nice lady from Kid’s Church, Alison. They will help you understand if a secret is OK or not.’
Jack sighed, ‘This is really hard. Why can’t it just be simple?’
Mum gave Jack a hug. ‘You are not on your own. Remember how Jesus helped you? He told you where Theo was and how to tell me about it. He will help you with other decisions too. And remember God has put you in this team. You can always talk to me about anything.’
‘And me!’ I added.
‘S’Unca Matt goin’ way?’ asked Theo, studying his cup of milk.
‘No, Theo,’ Mum reached over and squeezed Theo’s hand. ‘Uncle Matt made a mistake, but he said sorry to me, and to you boys. He understands that he was wrong to ask you to keep a secret from me and why. I think we should forgive him and keep going, OK?
We all nodded. Mum quickly prayed for all of us. ‘Dear Jesus, it is so hard to know what to do with secrets, but I thank you for the wisdom you gave Jack today. Continue to give us all wisdom and help us to always tell the truth. Amen.’