I really enjoy cursing. I think the ability to be creatively profane in small doses at appropriate moments is really a gift, albeit not one I can share openly with my children. As they grow older I’m easing them into this fabulous facet of me, sort of like one works solid grown-up food into a baby’s diet. I will teach them to swear when they are ready for that responsibility, just as I’ve taught them to pee standing up, hit a baseball, and have nice manners.
Matthew, at ten, is still exposed to little more than the occasional studio related “Damn it!” and he understands this is a necessity when dealing with bezels.
Riley is being weaned onto terms like “smart ass,” but at twelve he isn’t ready for the big guns. He can’t handle that kind of responsibility yet because he hasn’t yet mastered using his powers for good.
Jake, at seventeen, is almost completely trained and is impressed with my verbal artistry, as he should be.
When Jake was younger he was terribly worried about being good and following the rules, and when he got to middle school I made a point of cursing a bit in front of him to loosen him up. The world will not end if you are not perfectly behaved by others’ standards.
As he would leave the house in the morning I’d say, “Have a kick-ass day, Jake!”
“What kind of a day should you have Jake?”
He’d shuffle his feet and mumble.
“Jaaaake. What kind of daaay?”
He’d sigh, resigned, and exhale, “akickassday.”
By the end of the school year he would announce, “Bye Mom! I’m going to have a kick ass day!” Mission accomplished.
It seems I loosened him up too much because his friends tell me he has quite the mouth, which has led to discussions of appropriate time and place. At seventeen we’re still tweaking.
Weeding the flower beds for me yesterday, Jake came in to ask what a big weed with a funny tuber-like root was.
“Mom, these are everywhere. What are they?”
“Oh, those? Those are Fuckers.”
“Really,” said Jake. “Fuckers. Is that their Latin name?”
“Nooo silly. Stupidus Fuckidus Greenus is their Latin name.”
“And why were they named this?
“Because they are fucking EVERYWHERE and you say “STUPID FUCKER!” every time you rip one out, because you can never get the whole root and they grow right back. Hateful little Fuckers. ” I am so pleased when I can incorporate profane language into my day this way.
“I love you, Mom.”
“I love you, too, Jakers. Now go get those Stupid Fuckers out of my garden.”