My boys have extensive vocabularies. They like words and like to use them. Big words, little words, any words, all of them, every day, all the time… I’m pretty sure they have a built-in rule that says they can’t stop speaking or something bad will happen, like falling asleep. Their use of words is a big reason I refer to my house as “The Loudest House On the Block.” Yet with as many words as they know, there are still a few they don’t know, and a few words that they don’t employ, even if most their age think nothing of hearing them, and even using them.
Just last week Creed and I were talking on our walk home from school. “Trevor said the ‘s-h’ word again at lunch,” Creed complained to me. “He even said I should ‘s-h’ the ‘c’-word.” Wow, sounds pretty much like an awful lunch convo for 3rd graders, right? Well, though not polite, it’s not as bad as it looks. See, the ‘s-h’ word is ‘shut up’ and the ‘c word’ is crap. And little boys are rotten to each other.
Another example is silly Traben. He has a habit of piling as many blankets, pillows and stuffed animals as he can onto his bed. He loves to make himself a cozy place to reside, where he can burrow and be imaginative in ways only Traben knows how to. He decided one day that he was building himself a dam like a beaver. And as he led me to his bedroom to show off his latest work, he was telling me he built a “wham.” I kept asking him what he meant and he said, “A wham! You know what I mean!” Um, no. After showing off what he built, he told me, “See! It’s a wham like beavers build!” I asked him if he meant a ‘dam’ and he replied with, “Yeah, it’s what I mean, but I don’t like saying that word. I know it’s spelled different, but I still don’t like it.”
Yeah, they sound sheltered, but I love that they still embrace that innocence, and have the ability to partake in silliness. See, the innocence of a child is something I value immensely. I think there’s nothing better than knowing a kid gets to be a kid, unencumbered by the weight of the world, free to imagine, to play, to actually enjoy life. It seems too often children are robbed of this, whether by life circumstances, by stupid people interactions or even unfiltered media influences. It’s sad to think kids can grow up without having a chance to experience their childhood, from a childlike perspective.
This point of view is probably why my goals in life as a parent have been simple, so far. First and foremost, my goal is to get through every day with my kids as injury free as possible. I have two rambunctious sons, so this isn’t always an easy task. At all. Especially since Traben wants to be a future X Games star and insists on practicing on his bike daily, which includes seeing how far he can ride without hands (about half a block. And definitely not down curbs!) Plus, Creed still believes he’s invincible, built like a superhero and can perform feats like his favorite heroes without consequence. But I digress a bit… And technically, my first real goal is I want my sons to know that God loves them, no matter what, and that His love for us is limitless. I desire to see them to grow up to be strong, smart, caring men… but before we get to that point, I want them to live like kids. Innocent, happy, free.
Besides, if they weren’t so innocent of some of this stuff, I wouldn’t have such great things to write about, like what happened last night. We were reading at bedtime, Traben had chosen a children’s Bible because he wanted to read the story of David and Goliath. So we read how David knocked down Goliath using his sling and stone. Then this version glossed over the rest of the story and simply said David killed Goliath. Creed couldn’t resist throwing out the lovely fact, “Yeah, he cut off his head!” To which I replied that they probably didn’t think that kids needed to focus on that part so much, even though it’s true. Then Traben decided to share his own thoughts of Goliath, “And then (after he died) he went to Saul.” Wait, what? I asked him to repeat what he said, and he said the same thing. “What? To Saul? Is that what you said? Saul?!” I asked him. “Yeah, I mean that’s what I like to call it. I know that’s not the right word for it, but the other word is a bad word and so I just like to call it Saul.”
So I asked him one last question, “Traben, I think you meant a different word. Did you mean hell?” It was exactly what he meant.