Self Censoring

The firstborn had a sleep over at his grandparents’ house last night. I hope he had a good time and all that, but this is not a post about his adventures. This is a post about the little joys of ending self censorship, even for a morning.

I like swear words. I don’t use them in my writing, don’t use them at work and don’t use them around the firstborn. When the kiddo is gone, I’m a longshoreman. So this morning was a joyous trip through four letter words spoken with love. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

Learning to censor myself came a little late in the firstborn’s life. A teacher at daycare dropped something when he was close to two years old and he said, “damn” to empathize. Funny, but I stopped cursing around after that.

What took longer was changing music. I am not a fan of censorship, but there are some things he doesn’t need to know yet and more importantly I don’t want to be the dad of the kid that teaches all the other kids pg-13 stuff.

For example. I really enjoy the song People That Died by the Jim Carroll band (below). One day the firstborn comes running into my office as the song is playing and I’m singing along to the chorus.

There’s an odd trait that he gained from his mother. When he hears a song, even once, he knows the words forever. It makes my wife a great Trivial Pursuit partner when music comes up. It is less handy when the three year old sings “these are the people that died, died!” At the top of lungs. I was not looking forward to the call from daycare.

I moved as fast as I could to change the lyrics. Now we loudly sing together, “these are the people with pie, pie!”

Sometimes censorship works out pretty gosh darn well.

Jim Carroll People that Died



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