Can you keep a secret? Have you ever — intentionally or not — spilled the beans (when you should’ve stayed quiet)?
I can keep secrets, but I really don’t like to know things I’m not supposed to share. Some secrets are pretty simple, for instance, a friend of my daughter’s got pregnant about 8 months ago, and when she first found out she told my daughter, who’s one of her best friends. She said she wasn’t going to make it public yet, because unfortunately her first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at about 3 months. My daughter did tell me because she trusts my discretion, but asked me not to mention it until it became general knowledge. That’s a secret I can keep without guilt especially because of the reason for the secrecy.
Some secrets I have shared particularly with my husband when I feel that I need someone else’s input or opinion. Those secrets usually involve one of our children. There are just some things that a mother should share with their dad. Then there are a few I haven’t shared.
I remember one time my daughter came home quite upset because she learned that one of her friends in high school was pregnant. She told us it was a secret, but so poignant — the 17 year old was trying to decide whether to have an abortion or continue with the pregnancy. Our daughter was trying to convince her to keep the baby and put it up for adoption, and even asked if we would take it if necessary. I knew that there would be no problem the baby being adopted, and gave her all the encouragement and advice we could in advising her friend. Unfortunately, her family did not want her to have the baby, and she decided to abort. My daughter felt terrible about it, but understood the difficulty of her situation. They remained friends, but with a sad secret between them.
There are things that people tell me (and I tell people) that I know are just between us and not meant to be shared. I don’t mind keeping those secrets, because they’re usually confidences shared to help one or the other of us — like things you just need to “get off your chest” to someone, or to seek advice.
I don’t like gossip. I find that it’s turns into a sharing of confidences or suppositions that are detrimental to someone. In some job locations, I’ve avoided teacher lunchrooms because I overhear something I really don’t want to know, or makes me feel like I’m eavesdropping. That doesn’t happen everywhere, but at one school I felt it was particularly a problem.
Now surprise parties are good secrets! I’ve been to a couple and it’s such a pleasure to be a part making an occasion special for someone!