Today you heard me say "bitch" in front of you. You may or may not have noticed that this was not the first time you have heard this fun-sounding word, nor have I been the only person from which you have heard it. Your Dad and I try to remind each other often that you are learning new words at an amazing rate, and are a little mockingbird of imitation. The reason I am thinking more about it today was due to the fact that out of your sweet little mouth came a very clear echo of "bitch".
You have no idea what you are saying and no one would have been offended. I understand that the hard consonants and one syllable makes it a very easy word to learn, and as a side note, I am very proud of your speedy language acquisition.
And here is what I will never tell you. I really don't care that much if you learn "swears"(as we like to call them). There are some situations that really are best described with a well placed shit or damn and your parents sprinkle these words liberally in conversation. Ask your Dada or Uncle Jonathan about the night at Bible Study where your mother actually ministered to someone by using the f-word.
We do promise to be more guarded in our use of swears while you are younger, because the reality is that there is something sloppy and low-brow about not using more refined and proper language in your speech. Figuring out how to express yourself without offensive language is the skill not only of a lady, but a human being who can function in a proper society. And Jesus has also commanded us to use our words to build up and not cause others to stumble. You will very quickly learn that some people just don't like swears, and so your Dad and I will teach you not to use them because we want you to be able to talk to anyone and not be hindered by your family's personal freedom.
But the reality is that I will be much more upset with you if I see you treating your friends unkindly then I would ever be if I heard you curse. I will feel like a failure as a mother if I don't see compassion and grace in your everyday life, much more then if I find out that you had a beer underage. And when you make other mistakes in your life but are able to ask forgiveness from others and learn from your bad decisions, I will be more proud of you then I would ever be if you were every teacher's "dream student".
Don't get me wrong- you will be in BIG trouble with both of us when you break rules or test limits. We will be disappointed in you when you go behind our backs and do what you know you aren't allowed to. We will take away your Saturday afternoon at the park, ground you, take away your Ipod- or whatever discipline we have learned works best with you. We will teach you how to be a Christian woman and a kind and decent human being. But what really matters to us is that you "love whoever is around you to be loved" (K.Vonnegut) and understand the grace of God. Even if the occasional "bitch" comes out.