The Lie: No, you’re not old enough to go bike riding by yourself. You might get hurt.
The Truth: She wouldn’t get hurt, but she’d absolutely get lost. My daughter has the sense of direction of a Roomba: she barges ahead with conviction, changing direction as necessary when she encounters obstacles, but has no idea where she’s going. An anecdote I often relate to my incredulous friends is that, unbelievable though it may sound, Olivia once got lost in an airport jetway. As the TSA is my witness, she stopped halfway down the jetway to tie her shoe, stood back up, and somehow proceeded in the wrong direction. How one manages to get disoriented in a single-direction hallway with a downward slope is more than I feel comfortable attempting to fathom.
Inexplicably, Michelle’s anger following this incident was directed not against her directionally-challenged daughter, but against me, for failing to stop and wait for Olivia to tie her shoe. I’m sorry, but when it’s a Southwest flight and you’re in Group C, you don’t stop for anything.