No matter how much kids love their parents, they are rarely fully honest with them about what goes on in their lives. Certain aspects of one's day-to-day living are meant to be kept secret in order to avoid unnecessary family drama and heartache.
1. Magnets And Mucus
When my little girl was about four years old, she took a fancy to the magnetic ball-chain on my desk. Now, those toys are recommended for kids over 12, but she was totally engrossed in playing with them, so I just let her carry on. Roughly 20 minutes later, she shyly approached me and said, "Daddy?" As I looked at her, I was left utterly stunned.
I instantly realized that one of the magnets was poking out of her cheeky little nose. With no idea how many more were hidden inside, I carefully used the larger magnets from the desk to gently extract the complete chain. After that, I made an executive decision: Mum was never to hear of this incident.
2. House Blessing
We didn't hold onto this secret for long, but it's a tale worth sharing. My mom hails from Thailand, and she's transitioned from practicing Buddhism to Christianity. However, she's still very much a believer in ghosts, particularly those related to abrupt, horrifying incidents—it's a common belief back in Thailand.
My dad managed to snatch up a 30-acre property on the cheap from the government, and I went to check it out about half a year after he bought it. Sitting around a bonfire one evening, my dad shared a chilling story with a naughty grin.
Turns out, the previous owner of the property took his own life by setting his house on fire, while wearing socks on his hands to falsely imply his wife's involvement. But, the house didn't burn down completely as the fire team managed to extinguish the flames in time.
The unfortunate soul was found inside and was instantly deemed to have ended his own life. He was going through a messy divorce and wasn't exactly playing with a full deck of cards. My mom, with her belief in spirits, should have been freaking out. Surprisingly, she wasn't.
She lived there intermittently for half a year without experiencing any creepy, supernatural activity. Eventually, my dad did spill the beans about the property's past. My mom's immediate reaction was to call a preacher to bless the property.
3. Failed Curveball
As a kid, there was this one time when I found myself glued to Tekken 3 in our living room. I kept losing out to the boss fight and in a fit of frustration, I wound up kicking and breaking a part of the window. I hadn't realized I could exert that much force.
The next thing I know, I was in panic mode and hatched what seemed like an ingenious plan at that moment: I positioned a baseball near the shattered window and pointed the finger at my buddies from across the street. However, there was a major flaw in my plan.
As I was cleaning up, I accidentally cut my foot. My mom found me in that state and instantly knew I was the true culprit. We were supposed to hit Universal Studios that day and my mom really wanted to go. She knew if she shared the truth with my dad, our trip would surely get canned as my punishment.
So, she decided to give me a different punishment and seized my PS2 for a week citing my excessive gaming habit as the reason, even though my grades were perfectly fine. My parents got divorced a couple of years down the line, and till today, we've kept my dad in the dark about the real window-smashing scenario.
Oh, and we did make it to Universal Studios that day, right after the whole window-breaking saga.
4. It Wasn't Me
So there we were, me and my buddies, hanging out in a parking lot on a typical night in our New England town. I had the keys to the family's 2006 Nissan Pathfinder, proudly sporting my newly-acquired driver's license. What better way to enjoy a night out than cruising around, cranking up the tunes, and kicking back in parking lots?
I had this cool BB pistol which ran on C02 cartridges, and we were goofing around shooting at trees. Wanting to show off, I decided to aim for the Pathfinder's license plate. But boy, did I mess up big time. I ended up obliterating the back window instead.
Pandemonium broke out when my friend, who was in the vehicle, started hollering out of pure shock and bewilderment. It suddenly dawned upon me that I was going to be in deep hot water with my folks. Freaking out, we drove our glassless car to the nearest RiteAid to grab a dustpan and a bag.
After cleaning up the glass shards, we headed for the seedy part of downtown. I parked the ravaged Pathfinder alongside a tiny graveyard and scattered the glass fragments to simulate a break-in. Composing ourselves, I whipped out my flip phone and dialed my parents.
Next, I put on a performance that could've won me an Academy Award. Through fake tears, I told them their precious vehicle had been vandalized while we took a stroll downtown. Dad arrived at the scene not suspecting a thing. I was overflowing with pride, thinking I had pulled off a fantastic act.
Fast forward several years, the story surfaced again, and I decided to confess the truth to my dad. He chuckled and divulged that he had seen right through our fib on that eventful night, thanks particularly to my best friend's face.
Hilariously, her panicked expression gave us away, which is ironic as she was the drama queen of our gang and actively engaged in theater. Even today, recalling that evening and my dad's reaction always brings a smile to my face. Dad still keeps this secret from mom who would undoubtedly fail to see any humor in the situation.
5. Fun Uncle
A couple years ago, we took a ski vacation with our friends, including those with children. As an enthusiastic skier, I'm always at the front of the line in the morning and stay until the evening. The group was wiped out but I was still raring to go, so I decided to continue skiing with the kids.
We climbed the mountain far higher than their parents ever dared to go. The children showed impressive skiing talent and we had lots of fun gaining speed. Everything was going fine until a sudden scare. The youngest in the group, my niece, lost control and was headed directly for the trees.
I skied over swiftly and managed to prevent her from reaching the tree line. We all paused our activities. Even at their young age, the kids realized that whatever happened wasn't going to be shared with their parents; it remained an unspoken agreement.
Interestingly, that particular day happens to be the earliest memory my niece has. She doesn't recall the near-miss with the trees, but instead, her vibrant memory is of our shared time high up on the slopes.
One day, I intend to fill her parents in on what really happened, but not until a few more years pass when the kids no longer accompany me on these ski trips.
6. Go Out Happy
My mother struggled with drinking, which eventually led to her being diagnosed with a unique kind of dementia known as Korsakoff's syndrome. This condition made her forget things that had happened just hours earlier. So, when she was in the hospital and they told her about her terminal lung cancer along with secondary bone cancer, she couldn't grasp why she felt so unwell.
In order to support her, my father and I decided to arrange for home care. We made up a story to help her understand. We said that the nurses and caregivers were there to help her regain her strength and health. She warmly embraced this help and seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time with everyone.
Sadly, just before Christmas, she peacefully passed in her sleep, ignorant of the fact that she had been gravely ill for several months.
7. Our Little Secret
When I was just a kid, about 14 years old, my family planned a bike ride. I reached the car ahead of everyone, left my bike on the ground, grabbed the hidden spare key, and hopped into the driver's seat to fool around—I planned to give everyone a shock by making it seem like the car had been stolen.
But as I began to reverse, I heard a dreadful crunching sound. Realizing my stupid mistake, I had just crushed my bike under the car. I confided the disaster to my mom and together we hatched a fib for my dad—he always believed that I’d damaged the bike while trying an incredible stunt on a jump.
The local bike shop guy wasn't buying our story, but he was a good friend of the family and hooked us up with a discounted rental bike. Two decades later, we finally spilled the beans. However, my dad, who now has dementia, continues to believe in our original tale—that the bike met its fate while attempting a spectacular leap.
We've decided to let him continue believing that.
8. You Got Played
I was getting ready for a big senior class vacation, and I'd stashed away some of my own cash to really enjoy myself. My family didn't have much money in those days, so I felt it was important to save my own funds so my parents wouldn't have to worry about it.
A couple of days before the trip, my dad slipped me a few hundred dollars saying, "Go ahead, have a blast and make some beautiful memories. But don't say a word to your mom". I, of course, played along and kept my mom in the dark.
Interesting enough, the next day my mom did the exact same thing. She gave me a few extra hundred dollars and told me to have fun creating lasting memories, but insisted I shouldn't let my dad know. I heartily agreed and kept it a secret from my dad. Thanks to their generosity, the trip was incredible.
I was able to do so much more than I had originally imagined, and even lend a hand to a few pals as well. When I got back, I told my parents separately what an amazing time I had, and each gave me a sly, knowing look. Fast forward many years later, and I'm visiting my family as a parent myself.
During a conversation about keeping little secrets between parents and kids, I decided to spill the beans about the extra money they had both given me for that memorable trip, and how I never ratted them out. Their reaction was priceless—eyes wide open in mock horror, they laughed heartily, playfully teasing each other.
9. Don't Tell Mom
So, here's a story from when I was about eight. My dad and I were busy stringing Christmas lights along the second story rooftop. Feature of the story: He asks me to grab another set of lights. And boom, I'm at the edge of the roof, and then it happened—I slipped and took a tumble off the roof, landing right onto our ground floor picnic table.
Crazy thing is, my dad didn't even realize I'd made the big leap until I called out, "I'm OKAY!" He made me promise not to tell mom about this story. That was our last ever year of decorating the roof with lights.
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10. Avoiding Drama
My dad discovered I was dealing with a possible ectopic pregnancy before my mom did. He didn't keep this secret for long, though. A few days before Christmas, he swung by to drop off presents, thinking I'd be at work. But instead, he walked in on me sobbing on the couch with my hospital letter beside me.
We have a close bond but aren't really the touchy-feely type, so his silent comfort as I cried meant the world to me. He assured me, saying, "I can tell your mom if that's what you want, or I'll keep quiet if you'd rather tell her yourself when you feel ready". I eventually asked him to break the news to her, and the sensitive way he handled it meant so much.
My mom's terrific, but she would have showered me with love and kept a constant eye on me, whereas I just wished to forget it all. My dad was my rock throughout this period, accompanying me to all my subsequent medical appointments.
On December 23rd, we received the terrific news that our baby was growing healthily where she was supposed to. She's four now.
11. Bills, Bills, Bills
My dad once shared a story about how my mom had sneakily copied his signature to pull out a second mortgage on our family home, all for her shopping spree. His reaction when he discovered it? Just an exasperated, "It's just money". But that wasn't even the worst part about it.
He also shared how he ended up taking responsibility for my mom's colossal credit card debts, which amounted to tens of thousands. He found himself refinancing part of our house to cover around $50k of various credit card bills.
During the process of tidying up my parents' house for sale, I stumbled upon a scrap of paper. It was a detailed breakdown of all the debts my mom had accumulated—there was nothing tangible to account for these debts. Dad confessed he stayed not for her, but for my brother and me.
I never confronted my mom about it because I knew she'd just deny everything. My dad passed two years before my mom, leaving me with a profound sense of loss.
12. Pedal To The Medal
Back when I was just a little kid, my older sis—who must have been nine or ten—asked mom if she would help her move the car into the garage. Mom, in a decision that wasn't her finest, agreed. Bad call. With a heavy foot, my sister goosed the gas and we ended up with a car parked in our kitchen, having blasted through the garage's back wall.
Mom took one for the team, telling dad and the rest of us siblings that she was the one who'd made the disastrous maneuver. According to her, she'd thought she saw one of us in the corner of her eye and went into a full panic mode.
The actual truth didn't unravel until several years later and, even more shockingly, dad was in the dark about it for a hefty 10 to 15 years after the incident. My parents parted ways a couple of years post-crash and it's now a family joke, especially since sis is all grown up and 35.
13. Color Confidential
My parents were having a debate about the exact hue of brown to use for our house's new paint job. Mom was leaning towards a light brown, which Dad felt was too light, and Dad and I were voting for a darker shade that Mom thought was overly dark. The painting team arrived and got to work, beginning with a light brown on one side of the house.
Upon seeing this, Dad and I asked them to use a darker shade for the rest of the house, which they agreed to. When Mom came home, she was thrilled with how the house looked, completely unaware that three out of the four sides were a different color than what she had chosen.
The side painted in the lighter shade is surrounded by trees and the color is close enough to the rest of the house that it's pretty much impossible to notice the difference unless you're explicitly looking for it or you're in on our secret. We're not planning on telling her. In the end, everybody is happy with the final result.
14. Anonymous Donor
My dad gets a real kick out of spotting loose change on the ground, especially when we're on vacation in other countries. This one time, we were sauntering down a narrow street in Amsterdam, trailing behind my mom. Dad kept discovering Euro coins here and there, and his excitement was palpable.
A couple of years passed before my mom revealed the hilarious truth. As it turns out, she'd been covertly scattering coins along their route, leading to my dad's little discoveries and subsequent joy. He's still none the wiser.
15. Forever 21
When I celebrated my 21st birthday, my parents took me to some swanky cocktail bars. They wanted me to see what high-end drinking looked like before I inevitably ended up having cheap drinks with my friends. We made our way through a series of bars and, every single time, they checked my ID, which was expected.
The surprise, though, was that they also checked my mom's ID, which just thrilled her. She was absolutely beaming. I recall her commenting on all the bartenders asking for her ID and how it made her feel young again—almost as if she was 21. At first, I assumed it was pure coincidence.
Fast forward a year or two, I brought up the memory while hanging out with my dad. I mentioned how it was incredible that the bartenders thought my mom looked like she needed her ID checked. He glanced at me and revealed, "Oh, I arranged that. I asked them to card her to make her feel youthful".
I was completely oblivious to this. Turns out, my mom had been feeling her age more than ever around that time as she saw her sons growing up and heading to college. I haven't let my mom in on the secret till now, but every time the tale is revisited, there's a knowing smile shared between my dad and me. He really is a great guy.
16. A Really Bad Fall
Back when I was a tiny tot in the tail end of the '60s, my father decided it was time for a trip to his favorite park from his own childhood. I remember wearing child-sized gear that seemed far too big for my small frame. Unfortunately, I fell from quite a high point and ended up unconscious for a brief moment.
I can still recall the uncomfortable sensation of spitting out gritty chunks of sand and being moved to tears by the whole thing. It wasn't until I was practically an adult and had gone through my share of mishaps, that my mother finally learned about this little incident.
17. In Her Custody
When I was a little kid, my parents called it quits on their marriage. Fast forward to when I was around 14, I stumbled upon a dark secret my mom was hiding: a sizable hoard of illicit substances concealed in our home. She didn't react in anger when I found it, and I was clear that it wasn't mine—it was just something she'd received from a friend once.
However, she warned me that if my dad was to find out, he'd pull every string he could to gain my full custody, and I would no longer live with her. Now, as all my brothers and I have grown to be adults, I am free to share that story without fear...but yeah, that was one secret I kept from my dad.
18. The Real Reason
My mom and stepdad ended their relationship. When my mom decided to leave, she brought me along with her. I had to go back inside the house to bid him farewell. I was quite close to him, probably because my mom can be a little over-the-top sometimes. I was just an average middle-schooler at the time.
His heartbroken reaction and tears surprised me; it was a side of him I had never seen. He confessed to me the root cause of his problems with my mom. As it turns out, he had been mistreated as a child, complicating his ability to get close to her. He made me swear to keep this information to myself, not to share it with my mom or anyone else.
I kept my word. There were times when I contemplated telling her, but respecting his wish was the only favor I was able to do for him. He meant a lot to me, which is why I never let his secret out. Unfortunately, he's no longer with us; he passed a few years ago.
19. Unreported Injury
My dad and I loved having a friendly wrestling match. He would playfully act like I was winning, and then magically summon extra strength to toss me onto the sofa. But on this specific day, he misjudged his move and I ended up colliding with the side table instead.
Fortunately, I wasn't hurt...but the table lamp wasn't as lucky. We cleaned up the mess and headed to an antique shop to find a pretty identical lamp. To this day, mom remains clueless about it.
20. You Are Not The Father
When I was young and just starting my first job, I fell victim to a scam that cost me quite a lot of money. I was duped by someone I'd been involved with romantically, who misled me, claiming that I was responsible for her pregnancy. Naively, I totally fell for her story. I ended up sending her nearly half of my monthly earnings.
Once she got the money, she vanished—blocked my number and disappeared off the radar. In retrospect, I can't even be sure if the name she used with me was her real one at all.
21. Young Accountant
When I was a child, I once lost a handful of dollar bills. In response, my father had me meticulously log my allowance and all my purchases in a ledger. Whenever allowance day came around, I would get in hot water if my calculations were off.
On top of that, my father would take that opportunity to go over all my purchases. For example, he'd let me know what percentage of my "yearly earnings" I had spent on a t-shirt, a friend's gift, or similar expenses. Before he handed over my allowance though, I had to request it explicitly and show him my ledger for review.
There were a few times when my mom would slip me some cash for helping around the house or something similar. However, if I was grounded for poor academic performance, I technically wasn't supposed to get any allowance. I would cleverly manipulate the records to make everything seem right.
Over time, all this became too much and I started sneakily taking money from my parents without their knowledge, though I believe my mother thought the ledger task was a bit too extreme.
22. Father-Son Bonding
Growing up in a very strict religious family meant that I couldn't watch almost everything that my classmates were discussing. I hoped the restrictions might ease a bit in high school, but they remained the same, which was honestly tough.
While I was in my final year of high school, everybody seemed to be talking about South Park, and I felt left out as I couldn’t understand any of their conversations. Surprisingly, my dad found the show amusing. He confessed he felt my mom's regulations were unreasonable.
So, when South Park would air on TV (which often happened after my mom had gone to bed), my dad and I would sit down and watch it together. We made it our little tradition to watch South Park on the nights it aired. This stayed our routine throughout my senior year and even during my early college years when I would return home for holidays (Yes, the same rules prevailed then too).
It may sound a bit odd having this secret routine, but those times spent laughing and chatting with my dad during the commercials are among my most cherished memories.
23. The Show Must Go On
When I was around 14, my father and I found a shared interest in a card trading game. We began participating in local competitions together. However, my parents were separated and my father had me on the weekends. One weekend, a competition coincided with a visit to my mom's house. She was aware of the event and I requested to reschedule the visit, but she didn't agree.
So, dad came up with a plan for me to pretend to be unwell so I could participate in the game, and I did. Yet, my mother was unconvinced. On the competition day, she drove to the game shop hosting the event and enquired about me by name. The shop owner knew me well and said he'd look in the back room.
He then discreetly informed my father and me about my mom's presence and ushered me out of the back exit. I hurriedly slipped away to a local pizza shop and stayed hidden until I received a call informing me she had left. Once I knew the coast was clear, I returned to the shop, pizza in hand, and resumed the competition.
They had stopped the entire event awaiting my return. I have never revealed this incident to my mom up until now.
24. Under The Table
After graduating, I was in a financial pinch. Even with a "real job," my pay was far from sufficient and I was living out of my truck. My mom was the one handling our home's finances and she managed to allot a few hundred bucks extra each month to cover my car insurance, gas, and even some fresh interview attire so I could seek better job offers.
My dad, on the other hand, suggested completely cutting off my financial support to "help me stand on my own two feet," but failed to acknowledge that we were in the throes of a recession. Additionally, my mom discreetly sent me weekly care packages from her workplace filled with food and essentials I needed.
He remains unaware of this even now, and it's been two decades.
25. Icky Germs
You might find this funny, but many years back, my father had a deep-rooted aversion for dogs because of an intense fear of germs associated with them. Nevertheless, due to my persistent pleas to my mom, we finally got a dog but under strict rules about cleanliness and where the dog could roam.
Fast forward to a regular day, we were all waiting for my Dad's coffee to cool down on the kitchen counter. Unexpectedly, I walked back into the kitchen only to spot our dog standing tall on her back legs, licking out of his cup. Without making a fuss, we cleaned the cup discreetly, got a fresh one for him, and decided to keep it a secret.
If he had found out, he would have definitely thrown the mug away. And that mug held a special place in my heart, as I had bought it for him from my savings as a second grade Christmas gift. So, it would have upset me had he thrown it away.
Even today, he's blissfully unaware of the dog-mug incident, and I am sure he would discard the mug in a heartbeat if he discovered the truth.
26. Lost And Found
During a rather complex split-up, my big brother sneakily borrowed our mom's $60,000 wedding band and handed it over to dad. He did this because he felt mom didn't earn it and to prove his staunch loyalty to our father. An insurance claim was subsequently filed and settled, and even today, mom believes she misplaced the ring.
Meanwhile, dad has been keeping the ring safe for the past 14 years. I'm the only person who knows the true story behind the misplaced ring. I will decidedly take this secret fact with me to the afterlife, no doubt. Ah, divorce sure is a tough cookie.
27. Stark Contrast
My mom keeps me on a pretty tight leash at home. She doesn't let me run errands or even have a stroll without having someone watching over me, saying it's too risky. I have buddies, but if I want to hang out with them, she needs a heads-up from their folks at least 48 hours in advance.
My friends are really laid-back when it comes to making plans, so I often end up missing out. She almost stopped me from attending a party once because the invite was from the celebrant and not his parents. She believes, quite absurdly, that invitations from teenagers can't be trusted.
I get to see my dad every Sunday. He's more relaxed and doesn't mind me going to the convenience store or taking walks on my own. He sometimes even drops me off to catch up with my friends. Without his influence, I'd be lost navigating around town. In fact, I might not have any friends at all.
He's more than just my father; he's my closest friend. Thanks, Dad.
28. Best Day Off Ever
When I was in my single digits, aged nine, my father was on morning school drop-off duty. As we approached the entrance, my teacher flagged us down, checking if I had a water bottle for our museum field trip. I didn't have one, but my dad swiftly assured her we'd pop out to buy one.
Back in the car, he turned to me with a mischievous grin, "How about we play hooky today?" And that we did. We played hookey with delicious breakfast from a cozy little diner. We spent the day at my aunt's place, playing non-stop. I'm 27 years into this life and the secret is still safe. My mom will never know.
29. A Father's Misery
When I was about eight, my dad gave up drinking. His doctor warned him that his life would be in danger if he didn't stop. Fast forward to when I was about 13, my dad shared something quite frightening with me: He confessed that he was thinking about taking his own life.
This troubling revelation came a year after he'd quit drinking. He was insistent that I not tell my mother, as he arguably didn’t have anyone else he could trust with these thoughts. Still, to this very day, I encourage him to get professional mental help. In my opinion, he hasn’t really tackled his inner struggles head-on yet.
30. Kid Art
When my little girl was 11, she was really into using this stuff called epoxy for her crafts. My ex-wife, her mom, had always advised her to lay out newspapers beforehand. But, one time, she accidentally got some of the epoxy on our fancy granite countertop.
She thought she could remove it using sandpaper, but unfortunately, this only ended up scratching the counter. After a while, she found her bravery and confessed to me what had happened.
I responded, saying: "Being your father has been a great honor and privilege, but you're in some deep trouble now. I'm speechless". A few years later, we ended up divorcing and selling the house. She then found the nerve to confess to her mom, who surprisingly, had never even noticed.
31. The Informant
Every so often, my dad seems to be at a loss when it comes to choosing gifts for my mom on special occasions. Back when I lived at home, I spent a lot of time with my mom, and we'd frequently go out together. During these outings, I'd catch her eyeing various items.
She'd say things like, "Wow, this diamond bracelet is stunning! If only your dad would surprise me with something like this every so often…" And so on. I'd then relay these hints to my dad. Whenever my mom unwrapped her presents, she was always deeply moved and delighted.
On occasion, she would lean over and whisper to me: "Little Wolf, I had been hoping and praying that your father would get me this bracelet, and it seems like God has answered my prayers!" She was always none the wiser that it was actually me who had been helping behind the scenes.
32. Target Off Their Backs
When I was just a youngster of 10, my older brother got picked on at junior high school because we didn't have a lot of money. He finally stood up for himself one day and was then suspended from school. When my mom questioned him, he didn't want to upset her with the truth, so he led her astray.
I, however, filled her in on what had really happened and it brought tears to her eyes. The very next day, she did something shocking: She took all of us boys to a shoe shop and treated us to brand new Nikes, despite the hefty price tag. She then made us swear an oath, which was to keep this a secret from our dad.
If he happened to ask, we were supposed to say we got them on a heavily discounted sale. Even though it was a huge stretch for our finances, twice a year she ended up splurging on these Nikes for us, only so we wouldn't feel left out at school. I appreciate and love you so much, Mom.
33. Watered Down
Back in my high school days, I was a pretty decent guy. I helped people who had developmental disabilities, took on the role of a lector at church, made sure I was academically above par—all the usual stuff really. However, I did entertain a certain weakness.
When friends came over, I'd sneak a few drinks from their bottles. And to stay out of trouble, we'd typically dilute the them with water. I naturally assumed my folks knew what was happening but just chose to ignore it. Fast-forward 16 years—I was 32 and visiting my parents.
My mom fancied a cocktail and I, with spontaneous laughter, confessed about our little high school escapades with drinking and how we'd water it down. Anger and disbelief washed over her, mostly because some of that watered-down stuff had been served to her friends.
I was equally stunned as I had thought they simply acted blind to our secret mischief. Long story cut short, I managed to dodge a bullet. But kids, don’t count on being as fortunate as I was.
34. Just Between Us
When I went through my first substantial breakup in high school, it happened over a phone call. I recall that right after hanging up, I slumped onto my room's floor and couldn't stop crying. My dad likely heard my wails because he soon appeared in my doorway, standing quietly as he looked at me.
In my emotional state, I managed to let out, "Frank and I are no longer together!" before diving back into my teen drama. My dad, who normally isn't the touchy-feely or expressive type, simply stepped into my room, sat on the floor next to me, and hugged me. He didn't utter a single word.
That silent support was exactly what I needed in that moment. We decided not to tell my mom about this because she tends to feel left out if she misses such intimate moments. I'm glad it remained our little secret because it's one of the most endearing memories I have of my dad. Even writing about it now makes me tear up.
35. Family First
My father and I dipped into my savings to contribute to my elder brother's apartment expenses. At the time, my brother had freshly graduated from the same out-of-state school I was attending and was yet to secure a well-paying job that could handle his financial obligations.
He was literally tied to his lease and didn't fancy moving back home, prompting dad to ask me for a little financial assistance to handle the rent (my parents were already chipping in). Moreover, my dad requested that we keep this a secret from my mom because he feared she would unnecessarily worry and spiral into panic mode.
You see, I had a job that paid minimum wage at the university and didn't have any overheads yet, enabling me to save a hefty amount of money. My brother, on the other hand, was making barely enough to take care of his portion of the rent and utilities. My mom was oblivious for quite some time about the extent of my brother's financial struggles.
The whole situation was tough for me, knowing my mom was totally unaware of what was happening and I couldn't break the news to her. This whole arrangement also caused me a fair amount of financial stress.
36. Rich In Love
My dad was the last born among thirteen children in a well-off family, but by the time he reached adulthood, there wasn't much left for him. Nonetheless, it didn't faze him—he managed to pay his way through college (that was still possible in the '80s), and that's how he came across my mom.
My mother was brought up living hand to mouth, so when they decided to tie the knot, my dad sincerely wanted her to choose any wedding dress she desired, regardless of the price. Coming from a more meager background, my mom decided to purchase a previously used dress instead. She kept it a secret from him though.
Now, both in their 50s, she made me promise to keep this secret as well.
37. Sentimental Monkey
My dad's an amazing man, although his emotions are often difficult to decipher. It isn't that he's hiding anything, it's just his way, being the family's solid emotional foundation and all. A longtime ago, on their first Valentine's Day as a couple, he gifted my mom a plush monkey toy. That little monkey has had a spot in our home for the last four decades or so.
When I left for college, my parents had to shift their focus to caring for my maternal grandma—my grandpa had just passed. In the process of decluttering, the monkey toy was set to be given away because my mom thought to donate it. Even though, I noticed she seemed reluctant to say goodbye to it.
Hence, I took the monkey with me to college, saving it from the give-away pile while my parents moved their belongings to grandma's place. When I returned from college to my current residence, my dad and I began to unpack. He stumbled upon the monkey toy and his response was unexpectedly emotional.
Taking a moment to take it all in, he became choked up and revealed, "This leaving our family would have pained me more than your mom, probably". To my knowledge, he hasn't shared these feelings about that cherished toy with my mom yet.
For now, the monkey resides on the top shelf at my wife's apartment, awaiting the day it can return to my parents' possession.
38. Thanks, Dad
In the past, my mother would make my father discipline me. He, however, would devise a little charade with me designed to placate my mom. The scenario played out like this: a loud hand clap from him, followed by me feigning the sobbing sounds of a disciplined child.
Only later in life, did I come to appreciate the ingenuity of my dad's unique approach. His personal experiences with a physically punishing father made him repulsed by inflicting any such discipline. As a result, he never tolerated the idea of striking a child.
39. The Right Call
I never shared with my folks the anecdote about the time I had a little too much fun at a party. I was beyond just tipsy and the thought of hailing a cab frightened me. That's when my mom's advice echoed in my head, reminding me that she would always be there to lend a hand, no questions asked.
So, I dialed her number and she came to get me. All she did was ensure that I was okay and hydrated enough. She didn't chide me for rousing her at the break of dawn, or throw pointed remarks my way; she simply expressed her pride in my decision to reach out to her.
Now, my old man, he'd probably lose his wits if he knew I had been even slightly inebriated. He remains under the impression that mom picked me up because I was just too tired. Hats off to you, mom.
40. True Feelings
I have never told my parents the deep-seated feelings of anger and resentment I carry due to how I was brought up when I was younger. I get it, they were young and unprepared, but any time I mention past painful experiences, they act as if these incidents never occurred, or didn't occur "like that".
Because of this, I seldom open up about what's truly happening in my life. So, while I understand them quite well, they don't know much about me.
41. Sneaking Away
There was this one year when I was young, and we had a shortened school week leading up to Thanksgiving—just two days long. At that time, my dad was really into computers, and I was just starting to get the hang of it.
On a Sunday evening, we were deep into working on a computer project and my dad thought, "Hey, wouldn't it be great if we could continue this, especially since it's a holiday week?"
The next morning my dad drove my sisters and me to the bus stop. My sisters' bus arrived first and instead of me hopping on the next bus, he scooped me back up in the car and we headed home to continue our father-son bonding over our computer project.
Then in the afternoon, he'd pack my backpack and we'd head out again, this time to pick up my sisters from the bus stop. We repeated the same routine the next day as well. Our little secret remained safe, unknown to my mom and siblings. It was incredibly fun, and this memory with my dad is one of the dearest ones I have.
42. Paternity In Question
After delving into some unexpected DNA results, I'm inclined to believe my grandpa might not really be my mom's biological dad. Positioned among the middle children, my mom could possibly be the outcome of an extramarital affair.
By the time I pieced this together, my grandparents had already passed, so I never had the chance to talk to my grandma about it. I've filled my dad in on my discoveries, but I've held back from letting my mom know. I worry it would bring her more sorrow than comfort.
43. The First Sip
When I was a young teen, around 13, my beloved grandmother was in a fierce fight with leukemia. One weekend, we made a trip to see her and happened to have a cozy gathering at my aunt's place. Everybody was happily sipping on homemade concoctions, and as the day wore on, they all moved outside.
However, it was just me and my grandmother who remained indoors. She handed me a glass saying, "Here, give this a try". And you know what? It was pretty tasty! She followed up with, "Tastes good, doesn't it? But remember, if you spill the beans about this to anybody, you're in trouble".
Nearly a year later, my grandmother sadly passed. That evening, I felt it was safe to finally share our secret and narrate the whole story. Emotions were running high as we all laughed and shed tears, reminiscing about her. Whenever I think back to that day, I still get emotional. I miss her. So dearly.
44. Don't Pick Up Strangers
At the age of 16, I unexpectedly gave a lift to a guy I met at a library who complimented my smile. We went for a short drive before I took him back to his apartment building. Looking back, I'm relieved I had the sense to turn down his invitation to come in. It's a secret I still keep from my parents.
45. Doubting Blood
My dad had a DNA test conducted on my younger brother who has autism and is non-verbal. He had doubts about whether he was truly his son. Unexpectedly, the results confirmed that my brother is indeed his biological child. However, our mom is completely unaware that dad ever had this test done.
46. Temporary Tattoo
Over my winter vacation, I managed to convince my mom that the tattoo she spotted on me was actually a temporary henna design. As I returned to university, she simply let it slide. However, eight years down the line, while she was helping me get into my wedding dress, she noticed the "henna" was still there. At that point, my little secret was out.
47. Escapism For Moms
My sisters and I stumbled upon a stash of fantasy love letters, penned by our mom to men who weren't our dad. The contents were jaw-dropping. It struck me that they were made-up scenarios since most of these men were completely unknown to her, and a good fraction of them were content in their marriages.
Those letters were some of the most heart-wrenching pieces I've ever come across. They were filled with stories of imagined lives where she would elope with these men and bear their children. After writing these notes, she would crumple them up carelessly and toss them anywhere. It's a wonder our dad never chanced upon them.
My youngest sister would often lose her cool, shouting, "MOTHER, HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?!" However, we saw this as a sign of her discontentment in her marriage with our father, never dared to breathe a word of it to him.
48. A Hunter's Tradition
On my initial attempt to clean a deer we had hunted, my uncle boldly picked out the deer's heart from the messy pile of guts. "Coyote," he said, "In the world of hunters, there's a tradition of biting into the heart of your first kill. This custom dates back millennia, and breaking it is considered bad luck".
All this he narrated, proffering the organ to me, still soaked in blood. In my youthful eagerness to embrace manhood, I took the heart without a second thought and bit into it, much like one would bite into an apple. Unsurprisingly, I found myself splattered with blood as I attempted to rip a piece from it. Their reaction was one of shock.
They confessed they had only been pulling my leg and that they had not actually expected me to do it. One of my uncles was so taken aback that he rushed off behind a tree to fight off nausea. "Don't you dare breathe a word of this to your mother," they insisted, "or we're done for". I'm now 47 years old. My mother remains in the dark about it to this very day.
49. There She Goes!
My dad and I were in the process of chopping down a tree in the front garden. We'd planned for the tree to topple over at roughly a 90-degree angle, aiming it away from the house and between some other trees. But, we hadn't used a guide rope or anything else to effectively steer the tree's descent.
As the last cut was made, it was clear that the tree was veering off the intended course. Panic filled us as it plummeted towards our house, just narrowly avoiding it. Incredibly, the tree ended up lodging perfectly between the deck and some other trees around. By pure luck, my mom wasn't home at that moment.
We quickly chopped the fallen tree into firewood and tidied up any evidence of our haphazard operation. She was kept completely in the dark. It's worth mentioning that I was over 40 years old at the time and I was the one doing the cutting. My dad, who was standing at a safe distance, had simply presumed I knew what I was doing.
The worst part, though? My youngest was right there on the deck...
50. Lost Treasure
When I was a kid, I decided to play a game of pirates with my mom's wedding ring. I thought it would be fun to bury it like treasure at the park. I marked the spot with a stick in the sand, expecting I'd be able to find it like a real pirate. Unfortunately, my treasure hunt didn't pan out as I lost the ring.
I confessed to my dad, who comforted me and didn’t make a fuss. He went ahead and replaced the ring, continuing to buy new ones periodically. We kept this secret from her. Interestingly, she never realized as continual new rings appeared. In the end, it worked out for everyone.
It wasn't until one Thanksgiving, during a storytelling session, that I finally spilled the beans.