Tonight I was out on the back deck watering our plants and Jackson, our 3 year old, joined me. Jackson wanted to drive around his little “Cozy Coupe” car while I worked. I had my back turned to him while I was watering our wisteria; I hear Jackson get in his car and then I hear him yell (at full volume), “EEEWWWWWWW!!!!!”
I turned around but he had his back to me. “What’s the matter, buddy?”
Again, this time with his hands out to his sides flapping about wildly: “EEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!!”
I walk over to find my son — eyes bugged out, jaw dropped, back arched — staring directly at the steering wheel of his Cozy Coupe. That’s when I saw it: a massive glob of bird poop on the steering wheel. I looked back at my son and the look on his face said it all. He had no idea exactly WHAT this was, but he innately knew that it was foul (or should I say, “fowl”) and it had no place in or on his Cozy Coupe.
Even when we can’t “name” that which ought not be, something innate is triggered within us. We cry “EEEWWWWWW!!!!” and flail our arms and snarl our noses, even in the midst of some pain that need not be named. This, it seems, is part of what it means to be human.