Things kids say

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Kids have a way of warming your heart and making you smile if only in the simple words they say.

Sometimes it’s the perfect word at the right time. Other times it’s the wrong word at the wrong time, a misunderstanding, or even a gesture that is wise beyond their years.  Whatever it is, the words kids say can fill the world with laughter and light the sky with smiles.

And sometimes those smiles last far beyond the initial smirk.

When I was in elementary school (can’t remember which grade, but it was probably fourth, fifth or sixth), I made both my mother and older sister laugh with an innocent mix up in two words that are not even close in meaning.

I was going on a school field trip to a Washington, D.C. television station to sit in the audience for a locally produced daytime talk show. My mother and sister were sitting at the kitchen table one afternoon before the field trip, and they asked me about the topic of the show.

“Virgins,” I replied.

They laughed so hard milk came out of their nose, and they weren’t even drinking any. “What’s so funny?” I asked.

“I doubt your school is taking you on a trip to visit a show that is talking about virgins,” my mother said.

“Yes they are,” I replied with defiance, certain I knew what I was talking about. “They’re people who don’t eat meat, only vegetables. Virgins.” Take that, I thought.

They laughed harder, as though they were going to cough up a few cookies to go with their milk. “Vegetarians,” one of them replied. “Not virgins. Vegetarians don’t eat meat.”

“Oh,” I said, struck down a notch in my defiance. “That’s what I meant. What’s a virgin?”

I don’t remember either of them answering that question. Curious. I eventually figured it out in my own time, but I remember that conversation, or at least the essence of it, to this day, and it still makes me smile. I won’t swear that I’m accurately quoting anyone given that it’s been at least 30 years, but the spirit and meaning is true.

Both Celeste and Gavin make me smile every day with their words or deeds, and I have been sharing them with you. Now I invite you to share with me, and by extension the world through my Facebook postings, words your kids say. You don’t have to tell me your name or leave your e-mail address, though the latter would help if I have a question about your submission. (I promise not to share your e-mail address with anyone.) I will share these words with the world by sending them out through my Facebook page, “Adventures in Fatherhood.”

You don’t even have to use your kids’ real names if you’d rather not, but their age and gender help with context. Ultimately, the point is to share the joy with the world that comes from children. You can find the submission form to the top left of this page, under the “Share the joy” heading.

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