A few weeks ago, William approached me and asked me a very strange question:
"Hey Mom. You would never hurt a little kid, would you?"
For a second I thought to myself, "No. No way. Not unless they got into my stash of Quaker Rice Quakes Caramel Corn minis on the day before I get my period." But of course, out loud I said:
"Oh my gosh, no. No way. Why would you even think that?"
He paused for a few seconds. And then he said:
"I was asking Dad where the baby would go to school. He said probably my school."
William paused yet again. This kid knows how to create dramatic effect.
"And then he said..'Unless your mom still works there. She'd probably strangle him.'"
William looked at me and said, "You wouldn't hurt a kid, would you?".
It takes a lot to leave me speechless. It takes a lot to make me feel sad, mad, frustrated and embarrassed all at the same time. But I was all of the above. I could feel my cheeks burning, felt a thousand snarky, bitchy comments rising up at the back of my throat like vomit.
I ignored the urge to say something evil, something that would serve a dual purpose: to reinforce to my 11 year old son that no, I wouldn't hurt anyone, especially a child. And to try and showcase the absolute inappropriateness, the sheer profaneness of what his father had said. Instead, I swallowed the acerbic replies, I took a deep breath and answered my son's question.
"I would never hurt a child, William. Never."
Don't know why I'm writing about this now. This exchange took place between William and I almost a month ago but it's been stuck in my craw ever since.
Flossing hasn't helped, so I figured I'd try getting it out on here.