When we lived in Inuvik (circa 1980) W thought it would be a lot of fun to put together a dog team, so he did. The frustration and hard work involved in raising and training the dogs far outweighed the fun I’m afraid . And the dozen or so dogs didn’t just disappear with the snow. They required care throughout the long summers, when the town became a sweltering dust bowl in the heat, and a slippery filthy mud hole in the rain.
One muddy Inuvik afternoon my daughter and I had this conversation:
Mommy, goddamn is a really bad word.
(Yes it is, and telling me that is not an acceptable way to get away with saying it.)
Little kids should NEVER say goddamn. right mom?
(No, they shouldn’t, so now would you please stop saying it?)
But mom, its okay for dads to say goddamn.
(Really? Why do you think it’s okay for dads?)
Because there’s GODDAMN DOGS and GODDAMN MUD!
She sounded just like him.
Fast forward about twenty-five years to a conversation I had with my granddaughter when she was three or four.
Crap is not a nice word, grandma.
(Nope, it isn’t. So let’s not say it, okay?)
But sometimes you can say crap and its okay.
Yep. Like when you’re feeling sick, you can say “Mommy, I feel like crap.”
(Ah. I see.)
But if your mom looks at you when you’re sick and she says you look like crap, THEN its a bad word.
(Huh. You are your mother’s daughter, and I totally get your point.)
Wake up Jason!
JA-SON! WAKE UP! I hear something!
What do you hear? Shit. What was that?
I know! I mean, I DON’T know! What is it?
It sounds like – something in pain.
A wild animal?
In the house?
Oh God. How is that even possible?
Then what is making that god-awful sound? WAIT! Don’t get out of bed and leave me here all alone!
Don’t you want me to find out what it is?
Yes! No! Crap! Wait, I’m coming with you!
It’s louder out here in the hallway.
Let go of my arm, you’re giving me bruises.
Sorry. OW! Don’t stop suddenly like that!
I think it’s coming from the guest room. It sounds like something is dying.
WHAT?? Your mother is in there! Somebody is killing her!!
Shit, would you calm down? I’m going to open the door.
Oh my god oh my god oh my god!
She’s fine. There’s nobody in there but her.
But that horrible moaning –
Snoring? That is the sound of SNORING?
What can I say.
That’s just so freaking weird. Who snores and sounds like they’re being strangled?
My mother does, obviously.
Man. Should we wake her up?
No, let’s just go back to bed.
I don’t know if I can get back to sleep, my heart is still pounding.
I know, I can hear it.
How can you hear anything over that God awful racket?
Okay, well, goodnight.
Too late for that.
Right. Do we have any earplugs?
How much does it cost to get a sound proof door?
Shut up and go to sleep. And don’t say anything about this to my mother in the morning, okay?
Okay. I won’t. Although that will be hard. Hey, wait a minute, I don’t hear it anymore! I don’t hear anything at all! Jason, do you think she’s stopped breathing? Jason? JA-SON!