When I was in fourth of fifth grade, I remember hanging out during recess with a group of my little friends. We asked each other what we’d be willing to say or do if we were the lead actress in a movie.
“Would you smoke a cigarette?”…. “Would you say the F word??”
We all nodded out heads in solidarity and agreed that under absolutely no circumstances would any of use ever smoke or curse. While I’ve still never smoked a cigarette (really!) I have dropped plenty of F-bombs. I don’t curse like a sailor, but I do pepper my speech offline with a cuss here or there. Usually “Oh hell!” or “Sh*t!!!”
Now that Felix is a parrot, I’m really working hard to correct those. He has repeated me saying “Shoot!” so it’s only a matter of time if I keep it up. My toddler repeats things like “pool! park! ball! hat!” repetitively and there’s no way I want him marching around the house saying “shit! shit! shit!”
The reason I sat down to write this post is actually because of what I heard all afternoon long. I was at Little 5, which is a huge bike race at Indiana University and it’s amazing and I love it and Felix had such a great time. It was awesome. But I kept hearing people screaming the F word left and right. And it was coming out of the mouths of babes (college kids… who seem like children to me!) and it just felt… gross? But like I said above… I cuss too!
Maybe it’s because I have my own son or maybe it’s because I was sober (and a lot of attendees are not), I just felt like hearing the mother of all curse words in public makes me never want to say the F word again.
UPDATE: As a lot of parents jump into this conversation, I think it’s also worth bringing up that I never heard curse words in my home growing up. I don’t think I’ve EVER heard either of my parents use the F-word, and I’m really greatful for their example. One time my dad did say he was “pissed” and then apologized for the language to me (I was maybe… 10?) There are just some things that children should not be exposed until they can understand. That said, we’re not saints or uptight parents either - it’s just that I relish my son’s innocence and I want to protect it while he’s small. Eventually he’ll learn these words and we can explain them, but not yet.
Part of it might also be seeing something about myself that I don’t like and it taking the example of a pretty young girl, by all means probably a very respectable woman, shouting obscenities, for me to realize my own fault. We’re all kind of blind to the things we need to change in ourselves. More often than not the things that bother me about others that are my own greatest opportunites for change and self growth.
Am I done cursing forever? Probably not. Trust me. When I stub my toe or burn a pie, I will most definitely mutter colorful language under my breath. But I’m going to try very hard to clean up my language (even though it’s not that bad!)
I realize I don’t talk like this online, so you might have never thought I’d bring up a post like this. But I’m curious… do you curse? Never? Sometimes? Left and Right?