Cussing used to be a lot like riding on an airplane used to be. Special. Like when people would put on their best clothes to take a hop upon an airplane for an overseas flight. But those days have given way to pajama pants, snoring, and in some cases, people removing their shoes once on the plane. It isn’t so special anymore, is it?

And that’s what cussing has become. It once was something you used sparingly to describe an especially heinous situation like, stubbing a toe or almost getting run off the road. But now, f-bombs can be heard exploding all over the place while you’re in the toddler’s clothing section at Target. And that’s where this story picks up my friends.

Myself and several other moms with small children were perusing the clothing section, excited about the soon-to-be spring weather that was upon us and the Easter dresses that were just starting to make their appearance. Then, like fireworks piercing the night sky, f-words and b*&!^es rained down upon us. They were coming from a couple of women and one man who were pushing around a toddler and picking out a car seat. The other moms and I quickly exchanged glances as the words kept being thrown around. We were all surprised. Why? Because one does not expect for that scenario to play out across the aisle from the Playhouse Little People’s playsets in front of our children.

I’m a big girl. I’ve heard those words before. I’ve used those words before. But I don’t anymore. And although personally I don’t like it, I can handle it. However, I cannot stand it when people cuss around my kids. Or any other kids for that matter. I know a lot of people will say it’s just words, but words matter don’t they? I mean isn’t that what we’re always telling our kids? Words matter. Be careful what you say. And if it takes a village to raise kids, shouldn’t that village watch what they say when they are around kids? Especially when they are in “kid zones”? I mean, we’re not in lawn & garden. Get it together, people.

I wouldn’t board a plane and pull off my socks and shoes, and then display them right in front of your face. That would be rude? Foul? That’s something you do in the privacy of your own home. And you know what? That’s what it feels like when someone chooses to pull out from the deep-well of human words the ones that are considered foul language and put them on full display in front of my children. Yes, I understand that you bought a plane ticket. But so did I. Translation: We both have to occupy this space. So, shouldn’t there be some “house rules”?

Simple rules like watch your mouth, show respect for others, protect the innocence of kids, be kind, and be polite. Then, you can go home and take your shoes off. But let’s keep some things sacred, like Target children sections and playgrounds and any other place you find little ears. And since at this point you’re either with me or against me, may I add even preteen or teen ears. Sure, they may hear it at school and from other kids their age, but what really matters is what they hear from the adults in their lives.

Sherry White

Sherry White writes about the messiness of life, parenting, and faith at her blog The Messy Christian. She tries to add her own brand of humor and insight into everyday issues we all face, reminding us that even though we find ourselves in countless messes, God’s grace lights the way. She would be thrilled if you follower her on Facebook and Instagram.