“Mommy, what does ‘sexy lady’ mean?”
God, help me right now, this minute, please.
“What does ‘sexy lady’ mean?”
“Well, (…God help me right now, this minute, please…) sometimes when someone thinks a woman is very beautiful, he might say she is sexy. Except sexy isn’t the best word, because it makes it sound like that’s the only thing that’s good about her. So I don’t like that word very much. I don’t want you to use it.”
Another small voice piped in, “I think actually the words are Socksay Laday.”
“No, your brother has it right. It’s ‘sexy lady.'” I mean, as long as we’re saying it, let’s be accurate.
“So is it a bad word?”
“No, it’s not a bad word, it’s just not a respectful word. Daddy didn’t use it, and God doesn’t want you to. So in our family, we will use the word beautiful instead.”
And that’s that. These little issues inflate and pop in a moment’s time.
Laurelyn spoke in a quiet tone from the passenger’s seat next to me. She was in town for the weekend to add even more goodness to our friendship of 18+ years. “Well done, Trish. Another mountain crossed.”
“Well, it will come up again. And I wish their dad was here to answer them.”
Laurelyn knew Robb well, so well. She smiled and said, “Actually, I think you did better than he might have. Come on, you know what Robb would have said, ‘What does ‘sexy lady’ mean? It’s what I call your mom.’”
It’s true. That’s exactly what would have happened. Quite precisely. And he would have squeezed my knee and winked at me, like, “What? It’s true.”
And I would have needed to teach them that this is not a term they can use to describe girls, women, teachers, or their mom – specifically not in place of my name.
I can see it now. “Hey, sexy lady, can I have some more milk?”
In the end, he would have taught them very carefully. But not until he got a few dozen miles out of it.