Fatherhood has not changed me that much. One of the things that has not changed is my rampant cursing. F**K is my favorite word and has been for longer than I can remember. I use it in every conceivable way—as a verb, noun, adjective, etc. It is unbelievably versatile.
When my brother had children he did what every responsible adult would (?) do—he stopped cursing. And he admonished me every time I cursed around my nephews. Until one day when they were about ten, we were walking somewhere together and my brother just casually cursed in the midst of conversation.
“What happened to I’m such a bad person for cursing?”
“Well, they’re older now.”
What a load of crap I thought I but chose not to say anything, unless of course I did say something because I can’t imagine I would have been able to resist an obnoxious reply, but that is not how I remember it.
When my children were born it never really occurred to me to stop cursing. It is like breathing; a part of my very fabric. So I continue to curse up a blue streak because I love it and I don’t know how to stop. Maybe I am a terrible person but I can’t say for sure. Would it be better if I didn’t curse? Probably. Are people who don’t curse better parents than me? I’m not sure. But, are parents who curse and tell their children not to curse, hypocrites? I think so.
I want for my children to know me as who I am, not as an image of someone pretending to be who I am not. And while my children don’t call their innate bullsh*t detectors buy an adult name they see, hear, and know everything and there is no fooling them.
My children are now four and seven. As it turns out— at least so far—I curse and they don’t. And we talk about the fact that I curse. And that I know I use words that other people don’t like and maybe I shouldn’t but I do, and I would rather you didn’t use those words because people wouldn’t like it. As of yet my kids don’t go to school and curse up a blue streak like their daddy (and their mommy as well) and they don’t sit at home at curse either.
Am I doing the right thing? What do I know? I am human, hear me roar.