Sunday, March 07, 2010


Talking with the boy after his shower about his body, as usual. Answering random questions about why this bone sticks out here, and why that piece of skin is there but not here, and why does this look like that, and how many moles does he have?

And it comes up again that his vidalias have another name, a real name, a non-produce name that he may hear, you know, in science class someday. But he can't quite remember what it was. That it started with a "t," but that was about it. So, I say "testicles," and he nods his head knowingly. And then I carefully begin to wade in...and say that lots of people call them different things, and he may have heard people call them other names before. And then...he smirks.

And I'm immediately terrified.

"Have you heard someone call them something different, Bubba?" I ask.

He nods.

"Someone at school?" I prod.

And he smiles sheepishly.

Strapping on my brave Mama vest, I say, "Was it balls?" (Which, seriously, coming out of mouth just can't sound like anything that doesn't end in puh-rrrum-pum!)

But he nods again.

"That's okay, you know?" I continue, "To call them that. If that's your nickname for them, that's fine. I just wanted to make sure you knew what the real name for them was, too. That's all. Okay?"

He nods again, but is still looking what I'm pretty sure weren't his toes.

"Was there something else?" I ask warily.

"Yes, but I don't wanna say."

[And my heart just sinks. I immediately think the worst. My mind replays the million heartwrenching movies and headlines about child molestation and all those other horrible things Kate Jackson does to children on Lifetime.]

"Was it something else you heard? Something you think is bad?"

"Yes," he says. "I'm afraid you'll get mad."

"Well, if you're asking me whether or not something is okay to say, then it's okay to say it in that moment, or else how will I know?"

And without another moment's hesitation, he quickly spits out, "Evan told Ricky to 'Suck my balls!'" And then in the very next second, without giving me a chance to digest the first, he adds, "What does that mean?"

[Go ahead...just TRY to picture my face here.]

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