Rob is back from camp and we are all so happy. He arrived home exhausted as the camp tradition is to stay up all the last night and then watch the sun rise on the beach. The house feels normal again, that odd bit of emptiness filled by his presences.
His return meant that he and I had to have a conversation about his phone though. I had asked him to leave said phone home when he went to camp. I was worried it would be damaged as he was doing a lot of outdoor activities and I also wanted him to be fully present with what he was doing, not texting his gf madly. He agreed.
The day we left I asked if he had remembered to remove the phone from his pocket. He said the phone was by his keyboard where his extra charger is. I thought nothing of it. Except that as it turned out, the old non functioning phone was carefully left by the charger, and he brought his working phone.
He admitted it to me right away, which is huge progress. I told him we were gonig to wait a day to talk this through because he was really tired and as upset as I was over the deception I was too happy to have him back home to color it with a conversation about that the first day.
So we just enjoyed him being home on Saturday and he went to bed really early. Sunday morning when he got up the first thing he said was that he was sorry he had only been partially truthful. Somehow he had convinced himeself that his answer to my phone question in the car was not quite a lie and was cleverly walking around the truth.
I thanked him for the apology and said that he was not at all truthful in that statement. I wasn't asking about a non working cell and that he knew that. Frankly I did not even know he still had the broken one, I thought the store had kept it when they transferred his data over.
Our conversation mostly centered on the fact that I speak from a place of honesty and that the kids do not have to di-sect my words, wondering if what I said is really what I meant. He agreed that this was so. I explained that I expect that from all of them too. And that if he truly felt he was going to be horribly unhappy without the phone for a week, he could have at least talked with me about it. He could have emailed me, texted me or facebooked me, or written a note if it felt too hard to do it face to face. But instead, he chose to deceive.
His phone is now on very limited use (for work only) for this week and next. It will live with me so that there are no further misunderstandings about what that means. I am not sure throwing the consequence in there will do anything. Rob is not always one who gets consequences. But I felt the breach of honesty was severe enough that he needed to see that.
I will say, later after talking I found him on his bed looking pensive. Not angry, deeply thoughtful. That is progress.