If the word “fart” in the title has already turned you off, no worries. I get it. But for those of you intrigued enough to read more, you are about to learn what “fart buckets” are.
I used to have a few favorite bad words. I wasn’t always public with them. Sometimes I’d only share them with a few friends who could handle it. I was selective with my usage, like a bad word snob. After all, words are everything to me, so even my choice of a zinger now and then was carefully thought out and expertly delivered, sometimes even in the heat of anger. Every once in a while the mouth still tries to overpower my self-discipline of cleaning up my vocabulary and leading an exemplary verbal life in front of my children, and even in private. But “fart buckets” became, somewhat unconsciously, a combination of my desire to clean up my act but still hang onto the potty humor that I admit I really have a hard time severing myself from. And we like to laugh a lot in my house about the raw stuff of life. Humor gets us through so many darker, heavier moments. And so to lighten things up, “fart buckets” became my standby exclamation of surprise, although I really didn’t realize how frequently until—well, until Mother’s Day 2014.
Upon going through the weekend paperwork of my youngest son’s (8 year old) homework/take-home folder—which in and of itself I should get a paycheck for, times 3 kids—I discovered what was meant to be a surprise for me for Mother’s Day. I was certainly surprised by it, but lacking self-control in this department, I took a quick glimpse. Oh, it was a surprise all right! It read like this:
My mom always says: “fart buckets.”
My mom looks pretty when she cooks dinner.
My mom likes to cook pumpkin muffins.
My mom makes me laugh when she says, “fart buckets.”
I love my mom because she’s nice.
So, several of those lines are just plain lovely. Really quite sweet. But twice? Twice on the “fart buckets,” Little Man? Seriously? I took in my breath for a minute upon reading this. It said a lot about me. It said a lot about him. It said a lot about our relationship.
And I loved every minute of it.
So, I secretly rushed it over to my husband and laughed raucously until I cried. Tears poured out of my eyes. Because I make Little Man laugh. Because he sees me as human and not on some ethereal pedestal that he can’t reach. Because I’m real to him. Because he chose those words to reflect me. And because laughter and playfulness had recently returned to him after a dry spell of worry, I celebrated this. I wore it with pride. I smeared it all over my personal social media account. I framed it and drew an arrow to point to it.
And I thought of a teacher who was a bit more on the reserved, hold-it-all-in side, and it made me giggle because when she saw this, she asked him: “Does your mom really say that?”
And he proudly said: “Yes.”
And she said: “Okay, then, as long as she really does.” [Points for her for not shutting this moment down.]
He had perfect spelling and punctuation, which also delighted me.
And that just put the biggest smile on my face that he could be that free. And when he asked me if that bothered me (which did not seem to be his goal), I was so happy to be able to say: “No, Little Man, it doesn’t. I think it’s awesome.”
And that’s not my ornery side talking. It’s just me celebrating his freedom and this amazing level of being comfortable with each other. And for this reason, I’m pretty certain that “fart buckets” will not ever leave my vocabulary completely.