Anyway, one of the less fortunate consequences of him spending more time in the skatepark, where he is by far one of the very youngest and smallest riders, is that he bears witness to a lot of big boy and teenage-boy behavior and language. We’ve had to discuss this and support the distinction between hearing it and entraining with it.
Yesterday, as I sat on the park bench watching him ride, he skated back to me, and said: “Yeah… the big boys like to use lots of bad swear words, Mom. And you know what? I promise? When I’m a big boy like that? I won’t talk with those words.” I smiled at him endearingly, flashing at what he might be like 10 years from now at 15, probably 6’3 by then, with his strong body, bright eyes and red curls,~ perhaps called to test our limits left and right. He continued: “EXCEPT, maybe sometimes to use swear words to be NICE to be people??” I looked at him inquisitively: “How do you mean?” I asked. He said: “Like when they look down at the guy skating in the pool, and they say: ‘YOU ARE THE SHIT!!’ I can tell they are saying, like, ‘You are Awesome, dude. You are such a great rider!’ They are calling him ‘Shit’ with their hearts mom? Like from Love?!”
My heart burst open into adoration and astonishment at that. What an observation and distinction for him to make~ at 5! To be able to decipher tone and intention, regardless of the specific words used! Then I relaized~ I imagine we all receive this awareness when we are still tiny, infants even. Before we can speak the language, we can tell where the words we hear are sourced from. Words can resemble kindness but be laced with rage. And words can be sloppy, while overflowing with respect. Ezra skated off then, dropping with ease onto the ramps, his little knees bending with focus, his small neon-orange helmet cascading through space, his little ears taking in the world around him, as he learns to decipher the wide, wide language of love. <3