Tell the Truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truthDear Kid,

Way back in Roman days, men wore togas (which raises the question How did they dress up for toga parties?), fabulous mythology was created, and people (probably men) had to swear to tell the truth in court.

Fast forward to the 13th century. In between crusades, the English codified the oath To tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Since then, mothers worldwide have perfected The Look that means Are you telling me the truth??

(Don’t you love history DearKidLoveMom-style?)

The Look works extremely well when we’re face to face (or at least in reasonable proximity). But the impact of The Look dims with distance. Which raises the question of what to tell your parents when you’re off at college and not under direct daily influence of The Look.

Sometimes The Look will wiggle its way through the cosmos. Other times, however, you’re going to have to think.

Do you need to tell your parents every last little detail of every day?

No. You are an adult. Sort of. Mostly. Well, to other people if not to me. Except you kind of are. But kind of not. Sigh.

May you lie to your parents?

No. Absolutely not. Not under any circumstances. Ever. Seriously, no lying.

So how do you decide what you should and shouldn’t discuss with your parents?

Ah, the $64,000 question. (The Sixty-Four Thousand Dollar Question was a TV game show back in the 1950s.) As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t anything you can’t discuss with us. Absolutely nothing is verboten (German for forbidden) or even frowned upon (except fart jokes, which I have no patience for). Anything you want to talk about, we are here.

How do you keep your parents from prying and asking questions you don’t want to answer?

We want to hear about your life. We want to hear what you’re doing and learning and thinking about. We want to know the good and the difficult in your life. We’re not here to solve all the little difficulties of every day (like whether or not to wear matching socks) but we are here to listen and perhaps give advice (it depends where you’re going whether matching socks are important or not).

When we ask questions it’s because we are concerned (and because you probably haven’t told us a-ny-thing). Just as you’re figuring out how to be a college kid on your own, we’re figuring out how to be college kid parents. We’re trying to figure out where our lines are–how do we check to be sure you’re really ok and not intrude? Not always obvious. (It may be obvious to you, but trust me–we have a different perspective.)

So please call, text, write, email, send Facebook messages, whatever. Just let us know what’s going on.

Love, Mom