courtesy of the sublime Jimmy Marble
It is no secret I speak many languages, including foul language; it may, in fact, be my favorite of all. While I am exceedingly uptight about offensive language, as in words with racist / bigoted / separatist / elitist meanings, swear words? Not so much. The Big Angel, who is nine years-old, is not allowed to use foul language and we monitor his exposure to it (via video games and YouTube). Well, “monitor” in that artificial sense: when it comes to me blowing out a “goddamn it!” or “fuck,” then no, not so on it.
I had let a breathy “ahhh fuuuck” out when some well-meaning busybody decided he should instruct forty-four year-old me how to parent. A) I’ve got this, and B) as the HJ (aka Hirsute Japanese, my husband and father of my children) and I are wont to say, “when you do in a year what we do in a day,” with as much grace, love and style as I, then m-a-y-b-e will I be interested in your opinion. Until then, shut the fuck up.
He chastised my usage of the word “fuck,” asking me how I’d feel about my son (Little Angel, who at this time was sitting in his darling red wheelchair, biting on his chewy tube, and clearly not a part of this exchange) using that word. So I calmly looked at this man and answered him honestly:
“I’d be fucking ecstatic!”
If my aphasic son (meaning he cannot speak, sign, write, cannot understand speech, signs, the written word — our concept[s] of language holds no meaning in his brain) were miraculously able to speak again and all he could say is “fuck” I would fall to my knees in rapture, kiss the ground and start believing in any and all gods I would be so overjoyed. And if the only word he could say for the rest of his life is “fuck,” I would continue to thank any- and everything for giving this back to him.
Perhaps we breathe rarified air as we are a multilingual household so our verbal nine year-old, husband and I banter in multiple languages in one sentence. So yes, while the children are exposed to my foul language, at dinner tonight said nine year-old countered an argument of mine with “that’s tautology!” And yeah, I think that’s goddamn cool that a young kid knows, uses correctly, and uses comfortably a word like that.
Yeah, I know what’s important, and my children hearing me swear, whether in context or not, is not important.
Fucking be cool about it.