Some things are better left unsaid, and somethings need to be said. I remember hanging out with my sister one day back home. I was playing street hockey barefoot in the front yard with some of the neighborhood kids with a broom and a tennis ball. Mighty Ducks had just come out, and we were all trying to act like we could play hockey. Except, I never ice skated a day in my life or owned a hockey stick. Years later my Dad bought me a wood hockey stick for left-handers that was only 2.99 at Play it Again Sports. But I remember that day running around barefoot, and some of the older neighborhood kids came around and started talking. There was a pretty vulgar term I overheard them say, and it stuck in my mind for most of that Spring of my childhood into my Summer.
We were on our trip back from Montana in our blue Astro van with my parents, some minister friends, and Camie. I remember sitting in the back seat, contemplating my life as a 7-year-old. This was the early 90s, and we didn’t have portable TVs, and we couldn’t quite afford a Gameboy just yet. And so I was looking out the window looking at the picturesque scenery of the Glacier Mountain Park when I decided to ask my Mom something. I said to my Mom, “Mom.” She said, “Yes son.” I said, “What does “vulgar term,” mean?” My Mom didn’t say anything, but I’ll say, I got it good. Later on, during that same trip, I choked and eventually swallowed a big Lego… I didn’t tell anyone.
That Lego is probably still stuck in my body somewhere, and I probably should have told someone about the swallowed Lego at the moment, given it was a huge piece of red plastic. But that was my first experience realizing that I didn’t need to speak everything that’s on my mind and also to speak up if something was about to hurt me. A reminder to not fear speaking hurt and to hold peace.