I love words. Words like affinity and conundrum because they sound cool. Guacamole and hyperbole because they’re fun to say. Bungalow, effervescent, sun-kissed, and nemesis because they create pictures in my mind. I love the romantic connotation of Italian’s attraversiamo from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love. The idea of “let’s cross over” is just too appealing and I have big plans to go to Italy and say that word to Mike someday while drinking red wine and eating pasta. Anyway, the list goes on and on. A list of image conjuring, emotive words for my talking and writing pleasure.
But at this point in time, as I realized last night, fart just might be the most powerful word in my arsenal. Fart equals an immediate smile and giggle from my kids. Fart ends a fight or argument. Fart, or the actual discharge of a fart by anyone in the room, elicits instant bonding between child and father (no matter the child in question) and means whatever problem (likely being created out of nothing) is over. C’est fini. Simply put – in my world – fart has clout.
When I was growing up, my Mom didn’t allow the word fart in our home. She felt it was vulgar and instead chose to use the word poop. Today, I think we all agree that pooping and farting are not the same things, especially to young kids and their moms! I may need some clarification from her on how she actually made the distinction for us. Regardless, accepting farts and the word fart has been a journey for me, but thanks to my husband and kids, it’s been an easy ride.
In typical chaotic fashion, I was rushing last night to get Finn out the door to soccer. Riley was at piano and needed a ride home and Logan was babysitting across the street. (The fact that I have a child old enough to babysit for someone else is SHOCKING.) Finn was fretting over being late, how his socks fit, not having what he needed— typical stuff. And right in the middle of his exasperation (probably because of it) he let one fly. I’m no connoisseur, I’ve never been a fart hobbyist, but I’d say this would have made his Dad proud. “Nice one,” I said, to break the mood.
The almost man-laugh that followed, while appreciated for rebooting him from his anxious state, was rather unsettling. This forty-pound pipsqueak chuckled deep and husky, as a member of the boys’ underground fart world, utterly pleased with his high achievement. He moved on, now completing his sock-shin guard application worry-free, and I left the room because it was a stinky one, too.
He was now relaxed and we were on time. I guess there’s nothing like a good fart to clear the air.