Saturday, September 1, 2012

Not his first word, but his first bad one...

As hard as it is for some to believe, I don't curse.  I know some of you, think big deal.  However, when I give my students the "no cursing" speech and tell them I don't, they start asking questions.  The main question is, "Why don't you?"  I will tell you the same story I tell them every year.

When I was little, I was sitting at the kitchen table playing with my cars and there was a traffic accident.  As the two imaginary drivers were discussing what happened and my Mama was washing dishes nearby...let's just say the argument got heated and someone called someone a son of  a something.  My Mama turned around fairly quickly and asked me, "What did you just say?"

This was the moment of truth, I could have said nothing.  That was not the case and I repeated those four words.  I got fussed at and Mama marched me to the bathroom to "wash my mouth out."  I had heard people say that many, many times but thought it was only a figure of speech.  I soon learned that there was nothing fake about it.

Mama grabbed a bar of Dial soap and told me to open my mouth.  She put that bar in my mouth made me bite down and then gave my tongue a good scrubbing.  To this day, I can remember exactly what Dial soap tastes like.  Needless to say, it worked and cursing has never been a temptation for me.

Today, my son was walking out of the kitchen when he said a curse word.  He has repeated one before that we couldn't get off the television quick enough.  This was his first one that he used in the right way, I guess.

I then asked him that famous question my Mama asked me so many years ago, "What did you say?"  My son actually did a better job than I did and said, "I don't know, Daddy."  I asked him again and then asked where he heard that word.  His reply, "Out of my mouth."  I said, "No, son, who have you heard say that word?"  His reply, "I did."  We never solved the mystery, but he got a good talk about words we say and words we don't.

Being a good Daddy to me means setting a good example.  The one question my wife and I could answer was that he didn't hear that word in this house from his Mama or Daddy.  We know he is getting to the age where his answers might be, "Well, you do it."

I am a teacher, but most of what we learn as children come from our parents' examples.  That can mean what to do AND what not to do.  I hope my son grows up thinking, "I hope I am like Daddy when I get bigger" and not the other way around.  So many of the children I deal with at school want nothing to do with their fathers.  Just the other day I asked my class what would I be if I didn't spend time with my son and a student gave me her father's name.  Sad, sad, sad.

In our roles as Daddy, we have many jobs and there will be times where we are on the other side of our children's actions.  We have to be that voice of reason and correction that helps him or her grow up into something that the world can be proud of, gosh darn it.  :)

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