ate Marcel’s candy bar.

Well, not the whole thing; I’d only promised him a bite. Scott helped me eat it, too, so I wasn’t solely responsible for its consumption. I did purchase it in the company of Marcel, however, and assured him the entire time that, yes, of course, he could have a bite of mine once he had finished the one I was buying for him.

“I noticed that the Crunchie is gone,” Marcel remarked forlornly the next day. Large portions of his own candy bar had gone missing under mysterious circumstances (a different post for never) and he was looking for a little chocolate comfort in the form of that one tasty bite I’d promised him.

We would seem to be having no end of conversation about truth and fairness these days. Granted, a good number of those are sparked by the acquisition and fair and equitable consumption of candy, but for all that I like to think they retain some of their value. After wresting a half-consumed ice cream sundae out of Roy’s hands at a 10 a.m. church function over the weekend, I spent the entire ride home trying to untangle—and address—the many ways Roy had been injured in the event. There were a lot of them and some were even valid, but the most cockeyed of his grievances was that I had only confiscated his ice cream in order to eat it myself on the sly.

The nerve.

I had most certainly not eaten his stupid ice cream, I told him hotly, I would never do such a thing and I was insulted he would make such an accusation.

And yet. Today I found myself back in line at the Indian specialty food store, waiting to buy another Crunchie to replace the one I’d eaten before Marcel could have abite and because while I did not sneak even a bite of Roy’s ice cream sundae between his sticky fist and the nearest trash bag (scout’s honor!), it’s not like I’m some kind of paragon of candy virtue.

I read a piece yesterday about the importance of the example we set for our children—not the posturing, preachy bits we drag out and dust off for special occasions, the times when our babies have done something spectacular or spectacularly awful, but the way in which we live every day. It is the consistency with which we make our decisions in accordance with our spinning moral compass that they respond to in us, some elemental truth about how we relate to the world around us that to which they are listening closely, whether they know it or not.

It would behoove us to remember this—also, not to eat their candy.