I'm bipolar. I blog about it. I also blog about sex, theology and atheology, funny shit and sad shit, books, music, feminism, and love. Mostly love.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"When you're 18 I won't feel bad for telling you that joke..."

My sister's son, Julian, has always been the precious kind of trouble maker that genuinely made trouble because he was a boy and for no other purpose. He liked the shock value, and he liked the attention, and he was a curious kid! In the moment there's always this kind of "What the hell, Jude! JUST STOP!" But then there's this little part in the back of your brain that wanted to laugh, and when the initial pissiness would wear off, the laughs came, too. That's what he lived for.

Cursing is one of those pointless rules that little boys love to break. They’re rules that give a whole lot of four letter words a whole lot of power. When he was younger, Julian was already a badass, and he loved to push that limit. Hell. Grownups do it all the time. He was just ahead of his time. But finally, for fear of punishment, he stopped, and instead began to punish the adults for cursing. That was okay to him, but there was no shock value in the “Boss of Bad Words” telling them, “We don’t say that.” I guess he needed more.

In the midst of this stage, while feeling bored at *OneHope United, he pulled the fire alarm. He had been told over and over again not to touch the damn handle, but he was a little boy. And he had a hard time wrapping his little mind around what was so bad about pulling a handle. He loved breaking pointless rules. But this one wasn’t pointless. And it scared him shitless. The blood ran from his tiny face and he ran with his knees and voice shaking to his mother.

When enough time had passed, the whole thing became amusing, and although we were a little afraid he’d think it was okay because we laughed at it, we were pretty convinced that he would never do it again, based solely on the look on his face when the alarm rang. And one infamous day in the car, he let us know about all the things we shouldn’t do or say.

We don’t hit Sissy, we don’t say fuck, we don’t say shit, we don’t say damn it, we don’t say stupid, we don’t say hate, we don’t bite, we don’t pull fire alarms.

And now, years later, his 9 year-old head was tilted up looking at that handle. He eyed it cautiously, and Mom said, “Julian, don’t you dream of it.” He grinned back at her knowingly and walked towards her. Kayla said, “We’ve already been through that one,” and Mom laughed as she leaned towards him, “we don’t say shit, we don’t say fuck, we don’t pull fire alarms… and when you’re 18 I won’t feel bad for telling you that joke.”

We don't say fuck.

*The company that employs nearly every member of my family.

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