I remember the first time I heard someone call my child “Stupid”.  My child, the one who had never had an unkind word spoken over her in her life. (This was before the arrival of siblings.  Boy, was that a game changer.) 

I remember the questioning tilt of her head, brown curls against grey sky, and I remember that word, that awful word “Stupid”.  It felt like my stomach was turning inside out, and I might cry, and if I could just get to a bar of soap fast enough I would show that child and his mouth a thing or two about stupid. 

I remember it like it was yesterday, but it wasn’t yesterday, and there have been other words and wounds in the years since.  And I tell you, every time, my reaction is the same.  Only now I can’t say “How about we go home?” or “If I were that kid’s mother I’d….” because she knows better.  She knows that a bar of soap won’t do her any good, and that the only words that matter are her own.