Terms of Endearment

HAPPY

16

That’s what my daughter has written, so far, on the small pan of Reese’s no-bake bars.

Not quite finished, she moves into position again, the tube of orange icing hovering, her hand beginning to squeeze.

“Wait, wait, wait!” I say.

She rolls her eyes up at me, her body still bent over her creation, gravity drawing a bit of icing into the tip of the tube.Happy 16

“You need to put the t right by the 16.” She’s not known for precise handwriting. But this is looking pretty good so far and I don’t want her to ruin it.

“What t?” she asks.

“The t you’re about to make. For16th.”

“Hush, mom, that’s not what I’m writing.”

Not what she’s writing? Well, what could she be writing? If she wasn’t putting 16th, there was only room for one more word with, at the most, four letters. If she tried to squeeze her friend’s name into the remaining area, it wasn’t going to be pretty.

I watch, intrigued.

And here comes the icing. S then L then U then, yep, you guessed it, T.

Well planned out and nicely executed, each letter the same size and perfectly centered within the boundaries of the sides of the disposable foil pan.

HAPPY 16 SLUT. This is what my sweet daughter wrote to her best friend, who, by the way, is also a sweetheart. And neither one of them fits the description of promiscuous. A big, bold message, and, uh-oh, going to the high school with her tomorrow.

Her use of that word doesn’t bother me. It’s clearly being used as a term of endearment with no hidden innuendo. And with what kids these days are exposed to and how they could choose to incorporate it into their life, this is really quite benign. What does concern me is that this no-bake delight is going onto school grounds and that it will be in my daughter’s possession. In this day and age, the gift, with its innocuous message, could, in the least, be considered inappropriate for school and, at most, be interpreted as a form of bullying or harassment. There surely is no shortage of students who were suspended or expelled for acts where no harm was intended and the only offense that was actually committed was not thinking through the possible consequences.

“What exactly is your plan for tomorrow? Because you probably shouldn’t let any adults see that thing.” I share with her my concerns.

She’s not sure yet how she’s going to deliver the gift. But she has to take it to school because that is the only place she’ll see her friend for the next several days.

My daughter has good judgment and so, as she puts the pan into the fridge to set up overnight, I decide to trust her.

I admire this generation, these kids that are in high school. Every day I see signs of true friendship, lots of genuine hugs, and girls telling each other—clearly, sincerely, often—that they love each other. I see friends sticking by friends. I witness those who are typically included reaching out to those who are more than often not. And the overall acceptance of this generation gives me hope, while simultaneously putting my generation to shame. They’re not afraid of each other, not as easily offended, not nearly as judgmental as people my age tend to be. I believe that these young people will bring many positive changes to the world as they become adults and enter the workplace, vote, and move into positions of making policy and law.

I leave my kitchen and go into my other daughter’s room to see how her day went. Her birthday was a few weeks ago and there’s a card lying on her dresser that catches my attention.

“Can I look at this?” I inquire, as I pick it up and flip it open. It is a card from one of her friends.

“Yah, it’s hilarious. It’s from Shanda.” Shanda is one of her closest friends.

It is, indeed, a funny card. A bit inappropriate, some might say. I read the loopy handwriting inside—words of appreciation for her friendship, memories of good times and good laughs, and a statement thanking her for being a good role model and for motivating her to be a better person.

And then, in closing, Happy birthday, whore!

Yep, I have lots of faith in these sluts and whores, and their asshole counterparts as well. They’re going to do great things.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. scoobyclue
    Oct 02, 2013 @ 06:21:38

    This reminded me of one of my besties Janet. We worked together and it was always “b*tch” this “b*tch” that with us. One day, my boss, also a woman but one that was not as socialized for lack of a better term, asked us why we called each other B when we were clearly good friends. We explained to her that it was really a term of endearment. On the way out that night at work my boss called out “GOODNIGHT B*TCHES” Boy did in not sound right, but Janet and I laughed all the way home.

    Reply

    • Randee
      Oct 02, 2013 @ 06:30:08

      That’s a good story! I know some might be offended and, that being the case, I don’t want to encourage this language with my teenagers. However, when it is used in the right setting and used lovingly I don’t see any harm in it. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Reply

      • scoobyclue
        Oct 02, 2013 @ 06:38:57

        I don’t have any kids, so obviously I am not in a position to really talk about raising them, but it seems to me, that most kids discover “colorful language” no matter what. I think that parents just need to just monitor — kids discover the power of words through their experiences – and I think you are doing a perfect job with that!

      • Randee
        Oct 02, 2013 @ 07:12:30

        Your comment means a lot to me as a parent! I didn’t freak out about it because my daughters don’t walk around talking like this in their daily life (though I’m sure they use less-than-desirable words more often with their friends and at school when I’m not around to hear them). They’re good kids and I have no complaints. Thank you, again.

  2. theclocktowersunset
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 03:23:02

    I think it’s cool that you kinda guided, or suggested that she doesn’t let any adults see that thing. That you approved of it but were aware it might be “against the rules” for a lack of a better term. And that she wasn’t afraid to let you see it. Reminds me of how my mother didn’t get in the way of our shenanigans and even more so when a teacher friend of hers and her had a conversation in passing somehow about tacky pink flamingos. A while, maybe a year later, they were talking about something relative to the previous conversation, I have no idea what. But my mother had the idea to go to her house and put pink flamingos in her front yard. She ran the idea past me, knowing I was the most conniving of us all. Then one night she said she’d procured some flamingos, and asked me to help her? I agreed and together we went off into the night to stir up some flamingo fun. Of course she just dropped me off and circled the neighborhood while I stealthily planted several pink birds in her friends yard and garden in the dead of night. I returned unscathed and was waiting for her well before agreed pick-up, (not my first caper). But it was cool to participate in hijinks with my mom and be the go to “assassin” for her mission. I see you fitting into that role well, Mom and Friend. keep it up….. 🙂

    Reply

Kindly Leave a Thought:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: