I've been telling myself for weeks now that even though the theme for this month's edition is wind, that's not enough reason to write about an issue as sensitive as the breaking of..........ummmm.....that particular subject! OK.....OK.....there, I said it! Breaking wind! Otherwise known as flatulence, gas or that "other" little four-letter word, the one that starts with "f", ends with "t" and makes anyone under 14 or so giggle and anyone over 14 or so to slap one stiff hand over their mouth, raise their eyes to the ceiling as they take in a sudden deep breath and exclaim, "Oh, my!" Fainting is even an approved option for the seriously stuffy types.
So, "Why," you ask yourself, "did she decide to write about this particular usage of a word that has so many other illustrious meanings? It's very simple, really. Our discomfort as a society with such a natural occurrence intrigues me. As a preschool and Kindergarten teacher, it is a behavior that airs itself, so to speak, on a weekly, if not daily basis in the classroom. As an environmental educator, I have to admit that it is a perfectly "natural" occurrence in humans as well as other species and a wide variety of substances that combine to make up our universe. And, as we often do at my present place of employment, we began discussing this morning the question of "So, what the heck is the "right" and "wrong" of any given situation?" and "How do we as a society, as teachers, as children arrive at that answer?" and "Who's to say there aren't a million different ways to get there, none of which have to be one or the other?" Maybe they just are, to that particular individual at that stage of their development. Maybe it's just a cultural thing. Maybe it's just part of the wonder of being a child.......not knowing and not really wanting to, not yet anyway. So why get so uptight, America, about something as natural as breaking wind?
For years, the flatulent behaviors of a certain relative (who shall remain nameless) of mine, has sent the youngsters in our clan into fits of hysterical laughter. They run from the room holding their noses, red-faced, arms flailing the air, always hearing the same seven words in that same spousal voice, "HonEEEEEEEEEEEEY, couldn't you have done that OUTsiiiiiiiiiide?" and the usual response of, "Yeee..uuup, but I was in here." It's really one of those wonderful gray areas kids ( and a few of us adventurous adults) love to bask in for long leisurely periods of time. A respected adult breaking the rules, testing the waters, looking for a response, making a statement, whatever. It's the intimacy, the spontaneity, the reaction that leads to the giggles and the laughter and the pure joy of being witness to something that is "wrong" yet harmless. Something that says............TEST THOSE BOUNDARIES.........FIND NEW WORDS........TAKE A DIFFERENT PATH............and one thing is for sure........THE WINDS OF CHANGE ARE CONSTANT.
If we can love a lot, laugh at ourselves and with others and choose not to take life so seriously, we can weather any storm and maybe even learn to appreciate the tempestuousness of any wind, even the breaking kind.
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