Words have power.
Words can also be pointless. Like air blowing over the landscape.
Sometimes words can convey emotions and feelings.
Other times the words are just there for answers, like a computer spitting out the information you need for your school paper. Monotonous. Clinical.
Words can cut you to the emotional bone.
They can make you laugh, cry, weep with joy or sadness. They can make you angry. They can start a movement of change. Words are good and bad, though you can’t have one without the other.
The boy is learning sight words in Pre-K. Yes, they have homework in Pre-K and I hear Kindergarten is worse with homework. At this stage I am wondering if I should book a tutor now for math in elementary school and get an early bird special! He is pretty good and identifying words and learning to spell them. Lately, he has been asking how to spell words as well as understanding the meaning of the word, as well as how it is used in a sentence.
Recently we were running a bit late on the way to school. We were talking back and forth, it was a good day with neither of us whining about the morning, when he exclaimed, “Oh damnit!” Of course I gave him a sideways, crooked look and asked him what he said. He repeated it clearly. Even enunciating while looking at me. He knew he had said an adult word but wasn’t sure it was acceptable. I asked him where he heard it. He thought about it and smiled the I-can-answer-this look and said, “You?” Oh no, no sir, I don’t think so. While I have no problem admitting I can have a potty mouth pretty much 24/7 it’s like I get shocked in my mind if I say a curse word in front of any kid, much less mine! Have I dropped a few not so nice words before? Absolutely. Have I told him each and every time I did it NOT to use that word and it was an adult word? YES. So him saying he heard it from me as a question, let’s me know he doesn’t want to reveal his source. I told him he would hear a LOT of new words as life goes on. If they weren’t words he heard from the Teachers at school, he needed to ask me in private before he tries it out in public. Because some words can get you into a lot of trouble by using them. I use “dangit” in place of damnit around children and some adults. Yes, I’ve slipped up but not often. It’s like something catches in my throat and won’t let me say the words flying through my head. I will say his placement of the word was excellent. He was using the word in frustration over forgetting to take his medicine drops that morning. Something we can do later in the day but he prefers to take it in the morning. I watched him in the back seat say dangit and mouth damnit. He looked up to see if I was looking, I am way better at looking like I saw nothing, and then said, “Ok we say dangit not the other.” Very good grasshopper.
We don’t realize how our words affect others or often, that others are paying attention when we think they are not. It’s how the boy gets me. I tend to talk to myself when I am busy. I ramble about whatever I am doing or whatever it is I may be thinking about. He may wait a few minutes, an hour, days or weeks but he will bring back up something that I say to myself. He has a wicked smart memory for one so young.
As I watch him learn to use his words I am in awe. He is starting to understand how words can hurt people but also make them feel better. He asks for definitions and how to spell them. He loves being read to and is looking forward to reading his own books. He loves now recognizing the words he is learning in school when we are reading our books.
I pray he will learn how to use his words to make people feel better. To stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves and to fight for what is right.
I hope he will love words as much as I do.
I have so many hopes and dreams for him. I just want him healthy and happy.
Maybe one day he will read these words. The internet is forever as is my love for him.
I hope you all have a fabulously wonderful Wednesday!
Keep Hope Alive!