“Read,” she says, her voice laced with sleep and little girl and the command that this surely is.
We sit on the smallest couch in the room so I can be close to my coffee. It doesn’t matter that it’s cooling just out of reach, it’s there, and we are puzzle pieced.
I note their warm skin, their “growing out” hair, their pink tipped fingers.
Their locks tickle my shoulders and I breathe in their shampoo, realizing that the scent matches my own.
I’m not sure what’s stronger – the tug of apple and strawberry that used to be or the promise that sharing shampoo holds.
This kind of morning quiet is rare. So as the sky brightens in blues and greens, I do, indeed, read.
My voice lilts softly and carries quickly.
But when I reach the words, “A fat boy…” I pause.
In fact, I not only pause, I draw in my breath, sit up straight, and get ready to DISCUSS this description.
But I’m stilled, because I’m the only one reacting.
Later that night, I share this moment with my husband, who often skates the line between playing “Devil’s Advocate” to see if he can get a rise out of me and staying quiet, letting me work things out on my own.
He chooses the latter.
And I wonder out loud if it’s my own baggage that made describing someone as “fat” uncomfortable. The narrator wasn’t sneering or leering or teasing, just describing.
I talk to my kids about the fat in foods, the fat that I’m trying to lose, and the fat that I’m striving to turn into muscle.
Fat isn’t a Bad Word, is it?
They need to know to never use words cruelly – how intent and body language and tone of voice carry messages quite far.
But what about the word Fat? Should we use it? Should our kids?
Word of mouth is the absolute best thing that can happen for anything, really. Please help me get the word out about:
- How do you use your voice? Yes, you. Link up with Nicole of By Word of Mouth Musings and I right now, right here.
- Buy a book, fight cancer. Find out about Write for the Fight here.
- Inspire creativity in someone (young!) that you love. Find out about Pens and Paint here.