Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Things We Say

 We're on our drive to summer camp. Traffic that morning was bad. The car in front of me is slow, I mean slow, and I can tell the sucker is on his cell phone. I can't move right, I'm stuck. I get, well, mad.

Me, "Mumble, mumble, sorry "bad word" so and so."

I regret my words almost immediately. I look over at Little Bit and she's turned away as if the bloomed lavender Crepe Myrtles were the most important objects in here little life. I felt bad.
We move along at a silent snails pace for a few more minutes.

Then I say, "Sorry, Honey."

Her, "Papa."

"What, Honey?"

"It's okay, Papa, he can't help it."  I glance over with one of those questioning looks we all give children. She continues, "He's only a Democrat." 

Silence. Then, "Little Bit."

"What, Papa."

"Why did you call him that?" She's still looking out the window, hasn't moved.

Her, "Papa, I love you more than orange juice,"  in a rapid little voice, quick.

My heart broke. She now thinks she's in trouble for something I said and she feels her response has placed the blame on herself.

This is all my fault and it began many months ago. It's all due to my big mouth and my impatience with others. Allow me to explain, please.

We were driving down a busy city street, and like above, a driver had cut me off. Little Bit was with me, of course, and without thinking I yelled, "Damn Democrat." She heard and remembered and had seen the person in the car.

Thirty minutes later we're standing in a checkout line at our local Publix grocery store. We're second in line. The lady in front of us is swiping one plastic card after another. Each swipe the cashier would say, "Sorry, it's rejected."
I began to mumble. Little Bit looks up at me, takes my hand and in a crystal clear very loud voice said, "It's okay, Papa, she's just a Democrat."

Now, I'm a fairly large man, I fear no human. I have a great deal of respect for others but I know my limitations and have long outgrown the need to pick fights, so when I say I wish I had had a place to hide at that moment, I mean it.

If looks could kill they would have that day. Yet, it was my fault.

Back to the ride.

I turn to Little Bit after she said she loved me more than orange juice and reached over and took her hand. Said, "Sweet heart, Papa isn't mad at you. It's okay. Please look at me." She looked over and I continued, "I love you, you're not in trouble. Papa is mad at himself and I'm sorry I said those words. Do you understand?"

Silence. We're close to her school and I feel the need to heal my habit and heal her hurt feelings.

"Little Bit."

In a small voice, "What, Papa."

"Sometimes I use words I shouldn't. Words that can hurt other people's feelings and I will try real hard not to say those words again." She's locked her little brown eyes on mine. "Please, Honey, don't repeat bad words you hear Papa use, okay."

I pull into the driveway. She sips the last of her morning orange juice. Then, "Okay, Papa, I won't."

I helped her from my truck and she reaches for my hand, "I still love you more than orange juice, how much do you love me?"

"More than the whole world, Little Bit."

A kiss and she's gone.  



  1. Super sweet. I wonder what in her little mind she thinks a democrat is. And isn't it funny how the definition of things change with time. Look at Democrats in our history and how they greatly held the south...along comes a war and some other things and you've got a flip flop and an evolution of the meaning ; )

  2. I think, KW, I'm responsible for the Democrat label pinned on a certain segment of our southern population. It's even used by our local law enforcement. If, when a person is first spotted walking down the street, you can quickly guess without a shadow of a doubt whom they would vote for....well. We also use the term, 'Moonflea,' for those that arrive after sunset. We're not politically correct.

  3. She makes my heart melt, I love her to death...But the democrat thing is okay...Our little one said in a loud voice in (of all places) walmart once " Heyyyy Hoooo Obamas got to gooooo" !
    So yes I too have to watch what I say...

  4. with the two little mouths in our house..this might be the next topic over on my blog...I could write a months worth on what they say...

  5. It's amazing what children pick up and remember, and how they use that information. She is precious!

  6. I bet Credit Card woman was a democrat!!!!

    Charming story too BTW :)

  7. Awwww...... We have a jerkface jar that is now also a cussing jar. The rules are for every cuss word, insult of a family members looks or intelligence, or insult of ones self you put a quarter in the jar. It helps. The little ones, especially my Monkey repeat everything and soak it up like a sponge.

  8. That was a heart wrencher! I think most of us have been there a time or two. You are a very blessed man to be loved more than orange juice.
    What a sweetheart you have there!


  9. I wouldn't beat myself up over it. Everybody does that at one time or another with kids.

  10. Glock Mom, and you know I love your little ones too. Thank you for the kind words. You know why we do what we do, your family, our friends and I. It for our children.

    Rose, Thank you. It is truly wonderful how our children retain those lost tidbits of our conversations, and they often come back to bite us in our backsides.

    PioneerPreppy, indeed she was. Thanks.

    Lila, I have a couple of half-gallon Mason jars Glock Mom and Joe gave me...perhaps I'll put your idea to work. Thanks for the comment.

    Red Woman, as I keep saying, she is my heart. Thank you so much.

  11. Arsenius, Thanks, just made me feel awful when here I am trying to set a higher example for my grandchildren.
    And, I hate making that little girl feel bad.

  12. Stassja, I'm trying to comment ahead of your reading so that you'll know I always answer. You might want to retrace your path since I always comment on comments left by nice people like you. Thanks so much.

  13. Awwwe.
    I miss my little girl, she grew up, way too soon.

    Such the little darlin's they can be.

  14. Bustednuckles, thanks. Yes, little darlin's they can be.

  15. Brother, I love your style. I too have a deal with the little ones. They all know that sometimes Daddy says words, while driving in his truck, that are only between us and are not to be repeated. I try hard not to let 'em slip, but as I told a real cuss hater one day, "I grew up in a d@#$ gas station- what the %^&* do you want me to do? LOL. Little Bit stories break me down sometimes. Think they'll take my dude card?

  16. Hillbilly, if that were the case my Dude membership was revoked many moons ago. Thank you for the comment, Bubba.