And Then I Told Them Don’t Ever Use That One in School

So you know that little year of awesome I’m trying to chase down? This whole getting back to basics so I can be a better person/mom/citizen? Let me just give you a quick update, based on a conversation I overheard between Saoirse and Quinlan. 

The scene: We’d just gotten home from school, and we’re sitting at the kitchen table. I was helping the girls sort their homework and Saoirse was talking about a recent dance-a-thon her school held as a fundraiser for cancer research. 

In passing, Saoirse mentioned that she didn’t know some of the songs played during the thon: “We didn’t get to pick any of the songs, because I think they let fifth graders got to do that.” There was a pause. “They had bad words in those songs,” she said.

 “What?” I said, taken aback. “They did?” And before I could stop myself, “what words?” 

Saoirse looked at me sideways and smirked. “I heard the s word!”

Quinlan perked up at this. “What’s the s word?”

“You know,” Saoirse said. “That word mom says when she’s angry.” 


Quinlan looked at me. “Huh?”

“You KNOW,” Saoirse said again, and her voice was insistent, like Quinlan should know exactly what she was talking about. “It’s the word she says when she’s cooking.”

Quinlan, to my relief, still didn’t understand. Saoirse stood up to put her lunch container in the sink. She was very calm, almost matter-of-fact. I, meanwhile, was very, very quiet, because fighting the laugh that was trying to force its way out of my potty-talking mouth was taking all of my focus. Quinlan was insisting that we tell her that bad word all the while we switched topics–or so I thought–to what was on the menu for dinner. At this mention of my cooking, Saoirse brightened and turned to face her sister. 

“That’s okay,” she said. “I’ll let you know when she says it again.”

So there it is: the year of living intentionally, in all its glorious realness. I warned you guys that this was going to be a work in progress. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get going, because I’m about to start preparing dinner.

I want to make sure none of the children are within earshot.




  1. Barbara Conrey | 10th Mar 17

    Somehow I knew this would be your fault. Made me laugh out loud!

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