August 28, 2011

Because I have to know ...

When I was a child, words like barf and fart were not within my scope of language. (I can't believe I wrote those. I typed them. Here.)

When I was a child, I met such words with a pursed-lip revulsion because I existed within a very narrow world. Indeed and completely without pride I confess I was a holier-than-everyone kind of a gal. For years. What can I say? I'm working on it.

I wonder if my very proper German-Canadian grandmother, who expected us to declare after dinner we were "sufficiently suffonsified", was at the root of my stuffiness. Wouldn't it have been a bit clearer and easier, at 6, to state "I'm full" or, quelle horreur, "Oosh, am I stuffed". (Thanks Nana, RIP, I have impressed many a word nerd with that near perfect specimen of a word).

Personally, I like to blame all things quirky on the dearth of extended family in my youth. No blacksheep aunts and uncles to make our holiday dinners interesting, actually no aunts and uncles at all. So no rougher cousins to teach us nasty things while huddled in the basement under shelves that groaned with preserves. Nothing to be learned but not to be repeated in front of the oldsters. Maybe that, that was it.

But what I do know for certain is that, as I work diligently toward shedding that image I always had of myself as both better and way, way less likeable and capable as everyone else (I know, right?!) and as I strive to provide my children with a more level-headed entree into the world, I find that what I really want is to get over that pursed-lip girl I was, so many moons ago.

And so. Without further ado. I ask you all:

Barf, ralph, puke, vomit, chuck or even upchuck? We exclusively said "throw up". Later I added purge.

Ginch or gaunch? Knickers, tighty (gag) whiteys? I missed this debate entirely. Underwear, and probably undies.

Fart? We never did that at Casa Cox. We absolutely and pathologically held 'em in. Tightly. We said (insert Erkel voice here): "who had gas?" and wrinkle our noses.

Now I teach my kids toot and fluff, which are both totally lame-ass, I know, but also cute. I mean I kinda want fart to be an inappropriate word they "wouldn't" say in front of their mother, the one for which I can practice my lying disapproving face and a smirk.

Even snot could earn us a smack or a glare. We never called those green things boogers or my personal favourite, booger nuggets. Honestly, I guess we just said we had a runny nose. (Yawn).

Is it any wonder I spent most of my childhood trying to fit in, and all of my adult life figuring out how, how, how to get that stick out of my ass?

So I want all the best words from your past. And the ones you are teaching your kids. Do you care if they know with whom it is appropriate to use these words, or are they simply a part of their everyday vocabulary?

Please. Because I have a psychotic urge loosen my kids up (they're horrified by orange cheese, people), but what is too loose? My children's futures are in your hands. Give me all you've got, the good, the bad, the crass and the ugly. Seriously. I'm desperate.

August 10, 2011

Self accept.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about self acceptance. Acceptance of self. Feeling okay about who one (I) is and what one (I) does.

I is and I does, I like it.

Today I experienced a really wild and crazy lesson in this exact thing.

A while back I wrote a piece: Where I am from.

Today, weeks later, I received a brief but welcome comment. It prompted me to go and read what I had written.

When I wrote the piece, I totally felt like I had not hit the mark, like mine wasn't as superb as the woman who's piece made me write mine. I was glad I'd made the effort, it was definitely a stretch for me, someone who really doesn't *get* the poetry thing often. But I really felt like mine was not enough.

Not enough.

Recently I thought, gee, I should go back and re-write my piece, give it another shot. But you know what the chances of that are, re-writing something on the blogosperical?

But today I re-read that post because someone came to visit and generously left a few precious words. And I cried. (I know!)

Because the piece? It is as beautiful as all of the pieces that are written using this prompt, whether to the letter like this one by Everything and no one... like the last mom on earth by a woman who makes me love being a woman, or loosely, and with freedom, like this one at Bugginword, written by an amazingly crazy writer who makes my head spin in all of the best ways and came to my post by way of a new and yummy blogpal. She also makes me glad I was born girl.

I tell you all, all [holy cow! 17 of you! (or more) holy eminereffiner] who read this post. While I am not really concerned about growing this little space of mine, I am grateful for each and every pair of eyes (or singles, if that's all you use to read this; or sightless people, if you use a reader) that I am humbled and grateful for each of you, for what you bring to my little corner of the world, whether in quiet spirit or in comment. I'm so grateful that you are here, slugging it out with me.

But today? I'm thankful for the comments of a stranger that gave me the impetus to reread my own words and to realise that they are, indeed, good enough for me.