My baby grrrl is a bad ass mofo. Fuck! she says, and I try very very very very very hard not to smile.
It started in Costa Rica, a country rich with vine and undergrowth. We were driving somewhere, our second to last day; the car was on empty. Vacíe. Sin gasolina, or something like that, and the next town was not for approximately one bajillion kilometers. Perhaps the story has been exaggerated with time, but outside the car the air was 150 degrees and hungry jaguars paced at the edge of the jungle. Inside the car we listened to Peter Cetera not so much because we had thought to pack our Best of Peter Cetera tape but because the only radio station we could get seemed to favor the Glory of Love. Fuck, Bryan said, watching the needle, no doubt imagining having to hoof it to the next town. Fuck fuck fuck. And perhaps I should have shushed him but there I was worrying if it would be better for Zoey and I to walk with him in the 150 degree heat for who knows how long or if we should remain by the car with the jaguars. And crocodiles. Venomous pitvipers. Fuck.
Short story, long post, anticlimactic save for the fuck: we got to the next town on fumes and a prayer, quite possibly having done it all for the glory of love. Later that night we splurged on a nice hotel and the concierge let Zoey pick out a DVD to watch in our room. She choose Beauty and the Beast; when we got back to the room she held it to her chest with a huge smile on her face and exhaled fuck like a sigh.
Now there are many things of which I am supremely proud: the fact that Zoey says please and thank you, more often than not as one super-word of politesse: pleasethankyouexcusemeyou'rewelcome. My chest bursts with pride at night when we lay in bed together, Bryan, Zoey, then me: each of us reading our own book to ourselves. This is bliss, I know, the bed zig-zagged with our toes. But I am also proud that Zoey somehow figured out the nuance of fuck, that the word can be used in all its explosive fricative as an angry sound fuck! But could also be said softly in happiness. Fuck yeah, the vowel drawn out with a smile. I did not teach her this; it appears that she is a savant with the swearing.
Since then she has picked up shit. Only now we have had the talk, the one in which I read from the BabyCenter script on how to discourage my child from swearing. So she whispers it: shit. Almost a sit, faint hint of sh. S(sh)it. Under her breath and I try very very very hard not to smile. For all of my swearing on this here blog I am not a huge pottymouth in real life. But I love words and language and respect these words as I respect critter. And buzz. Thistle, god how I do love the word thistle. Come to think of it, that's kinda' how Zoey says shit, like a thistle. Thistle shit. Just try and say shit like a thistle without smiling. Now imagine that word as a 3 year old whisper, a sly smile on her face, the joy of being the slightest bit bad on a road with no jaguars.
This is one of those posts that doesn't really have a pat ending, no loop the loop with meaning or fun. No, this is really for me, for Zoey--so that one day when she is older and knows about motherfucker tittysucker two-balled bitch she can read this and know that once upon a time she said fuck with a sigh and shit with a smile. And that even though I told her no, that we don't use those words, that they are bad, that really? Honestly? I was proud.