This post is about nothing and everything. So unless you’re Seinfeld, how can you title something like that?
Today as the kids and I went through our morning ritual of listening to Top 100 tunes while dancing around the kitchen making breakfast, feeding the dogs and the guinea pig, chugging coffee (me, not the kids) and making lunches, “Summer” by Calvin Harris came on. (The video is below in case you haven’t heard it yet).
After the first verse my son said, “How is that even allowed? Isn’t that name calling?”
How was what name calling? The dude is singing about some chick he met in the summer. The only thing offensive is the video. Could those girls’ shorts BE any shorter? Either I’ve become a prude, or I’m just jealous that I used to be able to rock short shorts, but now without sturdy jeans to cradle my cheeks, I’d have to carry my saggy ass behind me in my handbag.
But I digress.
He thought Calvin was singing, “With a midget in the summer.”
We laughed as I sang him the actual lyrics. (“I met cha in the summah…”) Clearly the kid got his mother’s lyric-challengedness. I’ve been butchering perfectly good songs since the late 1970s.
It’s interesting though how something as silly as a misheard song lyric can lead to an earnest discussion.
We talked about the word midget and how like many words, it’s morphed into something else.
We talked about labels—specifically how they can both help and harm.
And we talked about how we have the power to choose our words; to wield them like a weapon to attack or to protect. Name calling isn’t black and white. Calling someone a silly goose isn’t the same as calling them retarded. My son is painfully aware of how that label stings. He chose his words of retaliation carefully. He used his words to gently and intelligently educate his peers about his sister’s developmental delay.
Maybe a good title for this post would be, “How My Kids Make My Heart Sing.” But that’s just cheesy. Seinfeld would be ashamed.