on 'olks and forkheads
"Can you make mine 'olky?" Tera asks.
She's standing behind me, so she doesn't see my smile.
"I like 'olky eggs," she adds, for good measure.
When will I tell her that eggs have yolks, and not 'olks? Never. Someone else will have to spill the beans, because I cannot bring myself to correct that word.
I couldn't correct Zac, either, when he used to refer to his "forkhead." It was just too cute. Sure, I had visions of a future-him pointing to his forehead and mentioning casually, to his teenaged friends, "Man, I ran into the door the other day and banged up my forkhead," and having to endure their snickers, but still, I could not bring myself to correct that word. He didn't discover the truth until he was about ten. And that was way too early for me.
I've always let those words stand. A much younger Tera would sometimes note my tiredness and pat my shoulders or my head. "Does that feel ya better, Mom?" she'd ask. I'd nod, and let the more-interesting sentence stand. Or she'd offer to read Good Night Moon for me, and I'd hear, "Potanonna time, they was three kittens ... and they all is gonna be died. Amen." After the first time I heard that rendition, I never wanted to read Good Night Moon to her again because I didn't want to ruin her version.
At four, she practically taught herself to read, and she learned the truth about Good Night Moon. She learned that the kittens didn't die, and that the book didn't end with an "Amen." And something saddened inside me. But she was still young enough to not realize that "We should get arid of some of these clothes in my room" contained a wrong word. So I let it stand. Everytime she thought we should get "arid" of something, I treasured her mistake.
She makes so few anymore. She's such a smart girl, with such a broad, tangy, impressive vocabulary. So when she asks for 'olky eggs, I crack two into the pan and I don't say a word.
It just feels me better.