It’s been interesting to watch my oldest child grow up. He’s slowly interjected his fashion sensibilities, voiced desires for new hair styles, and independently changed the radio station away from my channels to those he enjoys. Seeing a unique personality emerge ignites my imagination for his future and reminds me that part of parenting is making room for greater freedom and individuality.
Today he was home with the never-ending fever of 2011, but I had promised my mom that I’d run an errand for her, so he sluffed into the van in jammies and moccasins. When I remembered that I had to duck into the grocery store for a handful of items, I let him wait in the car to listen to the radio.
Enter Zac Brown and his hit song, Toes.
J is on a country kick. He’d probably buy his own pick-up truck right now if we let him. Let’s pray he doesn’t ever consider chewing tobacco or obtaining a Confederate flag.
So I was surprised to return to the van and find the radio on but totally turned down. He looked at me and explained everything.
“Mom, I don’t think this song is appropriate because there’s a swear word in it, so whenever it comes on I just turn it down.”
“Oh. Well good job showing that I can trust you! So what does the song say? What’s the letter that the swear word starts with?”
“Is it a-s-s?”
“Do you know what that means?”
“Well, I had to kind of figure it out. The first time I heard the song he said, ..toes in the water, ass in the sand, not a worry in the world, cold beer in my hand… so I just thought to myself, “If his toes are in the water, then he had to be talking about his butt in the sand.”
We continued our conversation about these alternate anatomical references and how when I was growing up it would have been soap-in-the-mouth post haste for using that language. [ahhh…how times change, right?]
These days soap and shame are gone and colorful language has bubbled over into the mainstream, through the speakers of our radios and television sets. Now, if you know me well, you’ll know that I’m not beyond adding a little color to my vocabulary from time-to-time, and I certainly wouldn’t judge you for doing the same.
I’m just coming to terms with the fact that our world is a little different now. And if you’re in the car with your kid, chances are there will be opportunities for anatomy 101, courtesy of the Zac Brown Band.
I guess I should add a few diagrams to the glove box, just in case.
Have you ever been confronted with lyrics that you weren’t expecting your kids to notice? Or conversation on the news that caught you off guard? How did you handle it?