(Warning…the following essay is chock full of curse words. )
Words are funny little things. It’s our human attempt to package something up…so that when we reference it…other people know what we are talking about.
When Hank was about 9, he made a decision to move out. He was very angry about my unwillingness to purchase an xbox. (We did get one later, I will admit, but I felt like he needed to be older AND at the time just couldn’t afford one and all the games that went with it.)
So after carefully going through his clothes and other essential items, he packed up a small backpack and headed out the door.
“Bye Mom,” he said with dogged determination. “I hope you have a nice life.”
“Bye, bye son,” I said. I kissed him, we embraced and off he marched.
We lived in your typical suburban neighborhood, at the time…tall maples, cul de sacs and the standard and necessary “creek” at the end of the street. He had shared with me earlier that he thought he might spend his first night “listening to the crickets and watching the water” down at the creek. There was much to ponder of course, as you make your way in the world…especially when you are nine.
I watched him go…curious to see what would happen next. He made it as far as the corner, when he stood there for a moment…and then slowly made his way back to the front door. I quickly sat down on the couch, laptop there…working away.
He walks in:
Hank: “Mom, I’ve decided that I’m just mad. I’m really mad. I don’t want to run away. I just want to be really mad.”
Molly: “Okay then. What do you want to do about that?”
Hank: “I’d like to cuss. I’d like to say really really bad words.”
Molly: “I can appreciate that. I say bad words when I get mad.”
Hank: “So you are saying it’s okay?”
Molly: “Of course. You are in charge of your anger. I would just ask that you say those words in your room, because I’m not angry. I’m just glad you are home. I’m not sure I want THOSE particular words floating around the living room.”
Hank: “Okay.” He dropped his backpack and flew up the stairs, with a kind of curious wonder.
He closed the door behind him…and began.
I could hear the muffled sounds of his voice from downstairs… and was dying to go upstairs and listen in.
I tip toed down the hall and stood as close as possible to his bedroom door. Here is what I heard. MInd you each word was said with a kind of confident staccato….as if he owned the word. I mean really owned it.
“Sh..t. Damn Fart Fudd Di..k Sh..t Vagina. Damn. Fudd. Penis.”
(Why vagina and penis were tossed in there I’m not completely sure. I think he was just trying to figure out “stuff.” I remember at the time, being grateful in a funny kind of way…that he actually knew the correct words for these particular body parts.)
After a minute or so of this, I stepped away from the door and called to him.
“Hey buddy. How’s it going in there?”
Hank replied: “I’m feeling a little better, but I’m not quite done.”
He continued for what felt like another minute or two and then came downstairs.
“Ya’ll done, there Mister,” I asked.
“Yep. I feel better.”
What I don’t know…is what this post has to do with anything. I just know that it says something about anger, getting it out and the power of words.
AND…it made me feel love.