Today is National Tell A Lie Day and in celebration, I'm going to tell you the biggest lie ever told to me by none other than my foster mom, Pearl. I hope this story makes you chuckle a bit.

This is one of those stories that parents love to tell other people, and Pearl was no different. If you know me, I wouldn't be surprised you've already heard this story from me.

I was about 7 or 8 and I had the bad habit of leaving my bicycle anywhere and everywhere except where Pearl had told me to keep it. She kept warning me that someone was going to come along and steal that bike unless I put it away where it belonged.

Pearl and Rik
Pearl and Rik

I, of course, didn't listen. And as you'd suspect, I couldn't find my bike anywhere one day.

I was panic-stricken! "My bike's missing!" I told Pearl.

But Pearl didn't seem worried. "I guess someone took your bike," she shrugged. "I told you that would happen if you left it out again."

I was upset and depressed, but I knew I had only myself to blame for being careless. I knew there was no way I was getting a new bike. I hadn't followed Pearl's advice, so I was stuck.

Weeks went by, and I made do without my bike.

But unbeknownst to me, Pearl was even more miserable than me. She was hiding a dark secret.

I found out later that one day, my childhood friend Melanie told Pearl, "I know where his bike's at -- it's not missing or stolen."

That put Pearl in a bind. "Shhhh," she told Melanie. "I'm trying to teach him a lesson."

But by then, she was feeling guilty because she had been lying to me.

One night she sat me down and admitted that she had taken my bike herself. She was trying to teach me a lesson, she explained.

When she told me, I was more upset at her for lying than I'd been about losing the bike.

No matter what she said, I just kept saying to her, "You lied to me" with the best frustrated stare an 8-year-old could deliver to an adult. I just kept saying it over and over as she tried to explain herself.

It became one of Pearl's favorite stories about me. She'd always tried to teach me honesty, and her plot had backfired. She was the one who learned a lesson: to always be honest with me.

She realized how much her trust meant to me.

Hazardous Levels Of Lead Plague East Chicago Housing Complex
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