I hadn’t asked him if he was thirsty. I had blasted the car that had swerved in front of me, cutting me off, forcing my foot to abruptly hit the break. The culprit then flashed me a quick wave, more like a dismissal than an apology, all the while chatting on her cell phone that was clutched in her gloved hand.
“What a douche!” I had muttered- apparently not as under my breath as intended.
That was the first time I was called out by my kids on my swearing.
Here’s the thing: I do curse and if I am being honest, I do so more than I would like but I don’t make a habit of doing it in front of my kids. Mostly I preach to them that swearing (or “adult words”) is a lazy way of expressing your feelings. And I believe that.
The English language is rich with words that have long been forgotten, fallen out of favour and/or replaced with “knee-jerk” words that rarely do a sufficient job at conveying the intended meaning anyway.
“Search for your words!” I gently say this while looking into their eyes, wild with frustration, as they struggle to communicate; when they’d rather throw a punch than commence a dialogue.
But I’m a parent and sometimes parents lie.
Like when I say I am not eating chocolate while feverishly searching for mayonnaise at the back of the refrigerator. When I tell them, of course I am going to bed right now but sneak downstairs a few minutes later. My go-to fib is that mommy already ate her broccoli while she was making dinner (meanwhile mommy thinks that broccoli is vile and would rather eat lumpy dirt from the sandbox at the neighbourhood park).
It’s kinda like that.
When I stub my toe I might say “Ouch! I need to slow down and watch where I am walking.”
What I mean to say is:
“FUCK! That fuckin’ hurts!”
Because sometimes curse words are the best way to convey emotion.
But that’s being lazy.