I'm a horrible secret keeper. Horr-ih-bull. I think it’s genetic. At least that’s where I’m hanging my hat. Although I’m the only one in my family who has a tough time keeping mum. Amendment: it’s genetic and I’m adopted.
I remember sitting in the backseat of my dad’s Audi with Leslie next to me, her ten year old face pressed up against the glass so she could glance out at the world passing by. My dad was in the driver’s seat and my mom was to his right, probably fanning through the latest issue of Architectural Digest or Bon Appetit.
“Dad, wanna know what we got you for your birthday?” I excitedly asked from the rear.
“Don’t you dare!” Leslie threatened, her head whipping around so her eyes could burn a hole through me.
“PJ,” my mom muttered before letting out a sensual moan about something in the magazine - either a chocolate raspberry tort or enviable landscaping.
“No, it’ll be a surprise,” my dad offered.
“Okay,” I said with an audible sigh, the kind of sigh only those under ten can get away with.
My dad fidgeted with the radio, Leslie got back to the window and I gave it one more go.
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure,” my dad confirmed with a slight chuckle.
“Okay, tennis shorts,” I blurted out before smacking an open palm across my mouth as if to force the words back in.
“Mo-o-o-o-o-o-om!” Leslie whined with that tattletale tone that wafts between siblings, the 'o' lifting in a high pitched arc.
“PJ!” my mom yelped to appease Leslie.
It was the last time I was in on a secret. Probably because everyone knows better than to tell me. But that was then and this is now. Meaning earlier this month, a secret fell into my lap. Big or small, I'm not sure. But it's a secret. And I'm going to buck the Paige Jennifer norm and keep it mum. Although, so far keeping it to myself hasn't been a struggle. I don't have the urge to tap a stranger on the shoulder and share what I know. And when I hang up the phone with Leslie or Allison or Hope or Bess, I never have the desire to blurt out 'one more thing' and spill the beans. Perhaps this is maturity. Or perhaps this is me trying on someone else's shoes. And maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow I'll tap out a confession and post it public for all the world to read. But I just don't see that happening. Because for the first time ever in my life, keeping a secret to myself has made it that much richer.