A Healthy Vocabulary

, , , , , , | Related | May 12, 2020

I was born with a host of congenital birth defects and spent the first six years of my life confined to a wheelchair. I was a patient at a nationally-known philanthropic children’s hospital and they flew me in once a year for followup procedures and the like. 

The hospital was located in Salt Lake City, which is also known for being the location of the headquarters for a certain religious movement.

After one of these yearly followups, my mother and I were at the airport to fly home. I was five years old. It had been a long week, my mother was exhausted, and I was being a handful. So, finally, my mother wheeled me to the window and told me to watch for when our plane came in in an effort to get me to quiet down.

Everyone else at our gate was a group of religious missionaries reading their holy books, so the entire gate was pretty quiet.

Soon, I saw the plane taxi into our gate and I called out to my mother, “MOM! MOM! THE PLANE IS HERE! AND BOY, IS IT A BIG MOTHERF*****!”

The only sound that could be heard after that was the sound of the aforementioned holy books slamming shut.

My mother wished the earth would just open up and swallow her right then. She walked over, grabbed my chair, and took me right into the bathroom where my rear was warmed soundly. Afterward, she asked where I’d heard that word and I told her that some of my older cousins and their friends use that word all the time. Their father got quite an earful from my mother later.

Fast forward to a year later. We arrived at the airport to go back to the hospital and my mother said, “Sweetie, do you remember this place?”

I looked up at her with huge eyes and responded, “Yeah! This is the place where you can’t say no bad words!”

My mother just about lost it.

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