Dad Writes Article That’s Full of Sh*t
Ninety-five percent of the time, my 11 year old daughter sings to tasteful music to the likes of Adele, Mumford & Sons, and Bruno Mars. She sits on her Kindle for hours, reading lyrics, practicing songs and finding her own voice and applying her style to it. Once she thinks she might have it down, or close to, she’ll ask me, “Dad, can you learn this one on guitar?” And so I do, and so we play together and it’s a lot of fun for us both.
So one day as we’re doing this, she’s belting out Adele’s Rolling in the Deep, and I’m doing my best trying to play a guitar version of it. She gets to the fourth line in the first verse to sing, “Go ahead and sell me out and I’ll lay your shit bare” but she didn’t sing shit.
No seriously, she didn’t say the word shit. She left it out, gracefully skipping over the word attempting to move on and pretending like shit didn’t exist. So I stopped her and said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa Kiddo, you left out a word.” She says, “I know, but it’s a bad word. I’m not supposed to say it.”
That moment brought me back to when I was a child and the active threat of a bar of soap entering my mouth if I ever said shit, or any of shit’s cousins. I’m sure you know which cousins I’m talking about. I remember the time I sat in my room, trying to whisper it into my pillow, worried that my mom was on the other side of my closed bedroom door with a bar of Zest in her hand even when I knew she wasn’t home. It brought more intrigue to me because it felt like if I ever said shit, I would go to hell and never come back. There was only one thing to do.
I said shit. I started off with a whisper into my pillow and ended with saying shit in a natural tone, like “Can I borrow some shit today?”
I waited for the door to fling open but it didn’t. I peeked through the space between my door and the carpet, looking for my mom’s feet but I saw nothing. The anxiety about this sat with me for awhile, almost to the point where I wanted to tell on myself just to make me feel better. It was like I did something wrong, but I didn’t hurt anyone.
So, my daughter and I had a conversation about this shit. I mean seriously, this type of stuff is important shit. Kids today use curse words they can’t even spell, and if anyone is going to teach my daughter about cussing, it is going to be me. This is what I explained to her, in a nutshell:
Yes, using curse words is not really that cool. You hear it all the time at school, and just like this song, you read the words as well. I’m glad you recognize this as a bad word, and it brings up a red flag inside of you. That’s big. And honestly, I’m glad you aren’t the type of kid that thinks cussing is cool.
The use of cuss words has everything to do with how you’re intending to use it. If I’m meeting one of my friends, boy or girl, I might say, “Hey, what’s up bitch,” knowing that my friend knows I’m just kidding around. But if I said that same word out of anger, even to my own friend or especially a stranger, then that is where cussing gets ugly. It can make a bad situation worse, and escalate quickly. With Adele, she has a clean version that says “ship” instead of “shit” but when I sing it, I like to sing shit because I believe that was the way she intended the song. She is passionate about what she is singing, and shit probably nails her true feelings, not ship. So when it comes to your singing, sing what feels right to you just as you did by not saying it, but don’t ever say I told you that you can’t say that. You can say whatever you want but you have to understand how you’re intending to use your words.
That was some cool shit because she truly understood what I meant. We ended up starting the song over from the top and singing the song completely through. Did she end up singing shit? That shit doesn’t matter; it’s the moral of the story.
Jon Vaughn wrote this himself and now writes about himself in third person because that’s what you have to do sometimes. He is a single dad with two daughters and enjoys the hell out of being a single dad. You can find him playing hide-n-seek inside Target during hot summer days in Bakersfield. He is currently working on the development of Genesis, a child custody, visitation and support manager for single and separated parents. Visit www.JonVaughn.com for his email.