Perhaps the toughest part of fatherhood for me was keeping a straight face when my insides were trying to burst from an eruption of laughter. Mind you, it wasn’t very often that I had to correct Kyle as he had a natural compass that directed him right from wrong and it rarely failed.
One early afternoon, when Kyle was seven or eight, he was in his room playing a Spider-Man video. I was in the living room reading when I heard him drop a loud and angry f-bomb.
Quietly, but quickly I hurried down the hallway, asking, “What did you say?”
Kyle looked up at me in a sheepish way and said it again. He then explained that he got mad at the game and it popped out of his mouth by accident. He followed it up with a sincere apology and stated he wouldn’t happen again.
Satisfied, I let him off the hook and we each returned to our activities – he playing his video, I reading a book. A few minutes later he came wandering down the hall with a look on his face that said he was thinking hard about something.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“I don’t understand,” Kyle began, “You’ve been teaching me how to write in cursive, but I’m not allowed to talk in cursive.”
“Talking in cursive?” I queried.
“Yeah, you know – saying bad words,” he answered.
I smiled, “You mean cursing.”
Kyle frowned and in a serious tone, responded, “No. It’s cursive.”
Knowing I should explain the difference to him, I couldn’t help myself as I was curious about how he came to the idea that cussing was cursive, so I asked, “How so?”
“Fuck is fancy talking, like cursive is fancy writing,” he stated flatly.
Yes, I knew right then I had some explaining to do. But it would have to wait as I busted a gut trying hard not to laugh.