Friday morning brought storms to to the Tennessee Valley, and the subsequent patio pitter-patter prompted a grin-induced memory ~
Because kids do say the darndest things and they don’t have a filter for what’s appropriate to repeat in public, as a mom sometimes I’ve been humbled to the ground, desperately searching for a boulder under which I could slither to hide until the end of time.
Like once after the kids went swimming.
A group of friends were standing around, waiting on our children to finish showering. It made little sense if you tried to analyze it, but their favorite time to shower was after they had been wet in a pool for three hours; I suppose it had something to do with the freedom from mom not supervising them like bath time at home. The showers were gender delineated and I couldn’t “help” the boys.
Done, my seven-year-old walked over to the group of moms I was with. As he toweled his hair, he excitedly exclaimed (loud enough for all to hear), “It felt like hell in there!”
My jaw dropped; I looked at my friend T.J., then back at my son and said, “Excuse me?!” to which he repeated even more loudly, “IT FELT LIKE HELL IN THERE!” and I froze in my tracks. That line was delivered with the emphasis and intonation of an adult, perfectly expressed the way I would’ve said it had I just stepped out of a too hot shower.
I turned to him, grasping for the best way to address the words now dangling in mid-air; other mothers were watching me to see how I responded.
“T h o m a s…” I began, considering whether or not just to cram a bar of Ivory in his mouth. “That is not how a first grader is supposed to talk…” came the preachy next mother line.
Unrepentant, he looked at me with confusion masking his face; how could he not know what he said was wrong? Had we been that poor of an example??
“But, Mom,” he continued. “The water DID feel like little balls of hail beating down on my back…” and it dawned on me he wasn’t streaming juvenile expletives at all.
He’s just Southern.
Photo credit: paf_friz on Flickr