Down here in Texas, we have to work hard to create winter.

It’s not really a season in Houston, exactly.  It’s more like a series of fronts that blow the heat away for a few months, a couple of days at a time.

So holiday decorations have a kind of make-believe quality.  Like we’re pretending it’s winter.  We’re insisting it’s winter, dammit.  And the whole city has to work together as a group to pull it off.  And we’re going to make cider and feel cozy even if we have to run the air conditioner to do it.

So, in honor of “winter,” my kids and I have been stringing our house with twinkle lights, and making hot chocolate, and cutting snowflakes.  Dammit.

Just because we’re pretending doesn’t mean it’s not real.

(And PS:  I accidentally taught my 4 year old the word “dammit” today.  And then I went on and on and on about curse words versus regular.  And, yes — there’s a 50-50 chance you’ll see this conversation in the novel I’m writing now):

I said, “We just don’t want to use dammit, okay?”

“Why not?”

“Well, it’s a thing called a curse word, and it’s not polite.”

“Why not?”

“Some people think it’s rude to use curse words.”

“Do you think it’s rude?”

“I think you want to be careful who say them to.”

“Like who?  Who can I say them to?”

“You can’t say them to anybody because you’re a kid.  Only grown-ups can say them.  But they really aren’t supposed to.  Unless they’re really frustrated.”

“What if I get frustrated?”

“Then you say darn. That’s why they invented darn.”

“Darn‘s not a curse word?”

“Nope.  Darn‘s a regular word.  A regular word that is like a curse word — but without the cursing.”


“It just is.  And it’s a good word, too.  Try it out:  Darn.”

“Darn.  Darn, darn, darn.”

“See?  Darn is awesome.”

Darn is awesome. But dammit’s better.”


Filed under crafty stuff, crazy personal stuff, news!, visual art

10 responses to ““winter”

  1. So cute!

    And I completely understand about the fake winter living here in Southern California. Yesterday was a bit chilly but I still run the A/C in my car to listen to Christmas carols. 😉

  2. Dammit! I wish I’d thought of darn when I was trying to talk my 5 yo down from using dammit when I (accidentally) taught it to him. Do I have permission to print your convo so that I can use it when I (accidentally) teach my 3 yo to say dammit? On second thought, perhaps I’ll be alright if I just start using the word darn myself…

  3. Deb

    I live in Nebraska. (I am looking forward to the game on Sat…. sure hope the Huskers play well)
    Winter IS winter here! In fact we have been very spoiled this year.. our first cold day was yesterday. 30’s with a wind chill in the 20’s. Bring on the hot chocolate!

    I just had the talk with my three year old grandson about curse words also. Grandma sometimes says curse words when she watches Husker football.SO, I had to tell my grandson Colin that Grandma gets alittle upset and says naughty words (like shit and damn) when she shouldn’t.
    Colin, my very precocious three year old grandson said “Daddy says ” Damn it” sometimes when we go to Stars hockey games” LOL! Apparently sports bring out the curse words in our family!

  4. Lisa

    I wish you had been here just yesterday, with your impeccable logic and explanation, when I accidentally taught my son the word “p*ssed”. I didn’t do nearly so well.

  5. Jet

    The twinkle lights are gorgeous – full of magic.

    My daughter (now 17) learned about the “strong words we don’t say at Grammi’s house” on a drive to the grocery store. She was in the back seat, coming up with rhyming words, “bud, mud, spud, lud… Mama, is lud a word?” and then, hardly waiting for the answer before continuing, “duck, muck, truck…”

    You know where this is going, right?

  6. detes

    Like mother, like son!

  7. amy

    Christmas in Sydney means trips to the beach.. we still do the pretend snow flakes and carols but often in shorts and swim suits!

  8. that is so hilarious! reminds me of the time my nephew got so mad at me and said, with all his might, “You’re a DAMN!!!”

  9. I can so relate….The cursing part. Here is Nashville it’s frrrreeeezing. Right now. At least. Happy Holidays!

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