where wildly different is perfectly normal


Today I gave deep and heartfelt thanks that, while A has quite a few issues, he is still an innocent in every sense of the word. In this day and age when young girls have sparkly words splashed across their butts, when kids not much older than he is are creating a new generation, when age-inappropriate knowledge is available at the click of a mouse…he is completely oblivious. And by that I mean something along the lines of he is out to lunch. Yes, I know this won’t last. Yes, I know we need to get him up to speed. And yes, I know knowledge is power. Cut me a break here, I’m just thrilled that it’s one little thing to not have to panic about.

This afternoon we had the great pleasure of having family pictures taken at Red Rocks Amphitheater. We’ve lived here 13 years, and this is only the second time I’ve been there. We lucked out; the weather was looking iffy, and it ended up being a beautiful day. If you’ve never been to Red Rocks or seen pictures, it’s a park and outdoor amphitheater that is entirely nature-made. Soaring brick-red rocks, native grasses, deer off in the distance; it’s the perfect place for autumn family pictures. Our photographer is a friend of mine. She also has two gifted children who are emotionally intense, so in addition to the fact that she has an incredible eye, she also “gets” these kids and works with their intensity.

So pictures, pictures, pictures. Move this way and that way. Lean, tilt, smile. Now you. Now you join. Switch. Climb up here. Agh! Not so close to the edge! Get down! Careful!

That was the afternoon.

And then.

Climbing down off the rocks near the end of the session, A ran ahead. As we caught up to him, he was digging around in the scrub brush, wrestling with something orange. He said he was trying to clean up the park; he’s a Cub Scout, we’re used to this. The three adults thought it was one of those orange newspaper bags, often used by dog owners for cleanup.




You know how sometimes time slows down as you gradually ramp up to Horror Level Red? And as it happens, you realize you can’t share with your offspring why your eyes are the size of hubcaps and you take a huge wheezing breath in preparation of hysterical laughing? And that you and your spouse will now have something by which to measure all other out of control situations?


For what my oldest son was twirling above his head was nothing less than an orange lace thong.

So I give thanks today for my son’s innocence. Innocence tends to be underrated, unappreciated. But I’m so happy we were able to divert attention and grab the “trash” for the bin before the questions began. For I really don’t think I could have handled that conversation today.


  1. Rebecca McMillan

    Well, thank heavens it was an orange lace thong. When you said an orange, plastic “bag,” I pictured something else entirely. Innocence long gone here, I’m afraid.

    DS 10 is not entirely innocent. I suspect he might recognize what A found. Not sure whether he’d recognize what I *thought” A found.

    Glad you enjoyed Red Rocks and the photo shoot. I bet A will eventually love the story when you share it with him years from now. Just not for the next decade or so. 😉

    1. Jen

      I really did think, until I saw the entire thing, that it was a used condom. A very LARGE used one. LOL! Or some sort of rubbery tie-up thing. So, all things considered, underwear is pretty tame. Thankfully he didn’t continue down that line of thought of “why was there underwear in the brush, mom?”

  2. Benoit

    Ah, ah, ah, Thanks to Wikipédia, I’ve learned a new word ! In French, we just call it “un string”.
    I have thought to something less innocent and more latex…

    Am I condomable for my not-so-pure imagination ?

    1. Jen

      LOL! Un string….yes, that’s about right. It was most definitely an orange lace string.

      And I thought it was something considerably more latex as well, very large and very used. LOL! Thankfully, just un string.

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