Guess what?! Spring finally arrived this weekend. It felt like as soon as the sun was up Saturday morning, we were out enjoying it. We played soccer and then, after a few errands, some ball practice and a visit to a playground not far down the road.
Connor found one slide that he reeeeaaaly liked. He would grasp the top and repeatedly ask me, “Mom, can you see my shoe?” Sometimes I couldn’t, sometimes I didn’t really want to bend down to look and other times it was in plain sight. “Yes, Connor, I can see your shoe. What is this game again?”
After getting nice and dizzy on the tire swing, he was back in the tube. When I half-expected to crane my neck again to see his shoe, I heard him ask, “Mom, what does a-s-s spell? Does that spell ass?” Yes, yes it does, Connor. And please, don’t use that word.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love this age where Connor is reading and sounding out everything. I’m not even mad at him for asking me what it was he was trying to piece together.
Nope. I’m mad that someone felt it necessary to etch on the inside of a slide a word that my seven-year-old shouldn’t see at.the.playground. It’s sort of like the time that he went into the restroom at a restaurant and came out asking me what f … (you know what I’m getting at, right?) spelled.
Even then, I wasn’t mad at him for asking. I was upset that someone chose to put that language on a counter in a bathroom. And it wasn’t like they etched it into the surface at a level where an adult might see it. Nope, it was at perfect eye height for an almost six-year-old.
I am all for freedom of speech, expression .. all of that. But, really? Really? I don’t know … maybe it’s healthy and good for Connor to be exposed to things like that so he can ask the question, and thankfully I was there to answer. But, then I also have to think that it might not be all that helpful because 1.) he’s seeing how common and apparently cool it is to destroy someone else’s property and 2.) words are just words that apparently should be read by everyone, especially CHILDREN. On a SLIDE.
I think we all know how I feel about words. They aren’t just that. At all. Sadly, I saw a few other words drawn into the wood and other features of the playground that I’m really happy Connor did not see to ask me about. I wouldn’t have known how to explain some to him.
Point is … I won’t be there all the time to explain it to him and as much as I’d love to keep whining about someone else’s choice to infiltrate his brain with nonsense, I might as well just do my best to make sure he knows that activity, in and of itself, is not okay with this mama and if he ever feels the need to send a message to someone else, I hope it’s a positive one.