*Warning, strong language, so if you’re easily offended, you might want to find another blog.
Before you get ready to pen me angry letters and blow up my comments, I said R-rated, not X-rated. I mean there was that one video that one time (before the cloud, thank god), but I digress. I’m mostly talking about cursing, swearing, using expletives, etc. I love cursing. Fucking love it. I have no idea when my love for four-letter words bloomed. As kids we weren’t allowed to curse, but of course I’d do it in private and with friends. I just feel, as someone who makes her living using words, there are certain situations that only call for cursing. Just like I’d use a word like “deluge” to describe an epic rainstorm, sometimes the words shit, fuck and douchebag are the only words that need apply. I see nothing wrong with cursing. I do it at work, in the car and in front of strangers. Chances are within 5 minutes of meeting me, I’ll let one fly. It’s not about shock value, it’s just part of my vernacular and frankly, it makes me, well, me.
You’re a Mom
But Danielle, you say, you’re a parent. Yes, I fucking am. And yes I curse in front of O. It was made clear to him early on that these are words for Mommy or adults only and honestly, he’s been pretty awesome about it. Now, he may say things in front of his friends when I’m not there, but he knows better than to use those words in front of me. And yes, I pulled the, “Because I’m the Mom” nonsense when explaining this, but too damn bad. My aunt, who might be worse than me, has cursed in front of her kids and at the ripe old ages of 21 and 18, she’s never heard them curse in front of her — ever.
Here’s the thing, I’m all about removing shock value and stigmas. If my child hears me cursing but also using SAT words and knows my job is a writer (!), he’s less likely to rebel and go off on some cursing rant. Because I balance the two by using curse words but also speaking highly intelligently. The two need not be mutually exclusive.
And an oenophile
I’ve been known to have a glass or two of wine (yes, you can laugh) and I most certainly do this in front of him so he can see a positive alcohol experience, whereby I drink with my meal and am never drunk. When you present things in a positive and normal light, your children are less likely to seek them out and keep them from you because there’s no shame associated with them. My parents would let me drink in front of them when I was underage (special occasions only), and it made me less likely to binge on alcohol because it wasn’t something denied to me.
And a nudist (not really)
The same goes for nudity and talking about body parts. And while in my mind, this is certainly not R-rated, our country, prudish as it is, disagrees. So when we discuss bodies we use the real words and we have no shame in our nudity. It’s not given a second though. The body is a beautiful thing that allows us to do so many amazing things. Why would there be shame in it? Obviously there will soon be a time when O is not comfortable letting me see him naked nor for me to be naked in front of him. And of course, both of our privacies will be respected. But we will have set the foundation for normalcy and acceptance.
And that’s really what I aim to do as a parent. Make my child comfortable, open to the world and ready to discuss things in a mature and honest way. A world with less stigma and more acceptance sounds pretty great to me.