Recently I took my 9-year-old to see the original version of the Bad News Bears — you know, the Walter Matthau version. I think it was an edited version, because I was waiting for the scene where he writes the word “assume” on a board then divides it up into “ass” and “u” and”me”. Anyhow, that scene wasn’t in it. But there were lots of instances where the boys on the team called each other bad names.
And which bad name jumped out at my 9-year-old? Bastard. So he asked me:
9-year-old: Mommy, what is a bastard?
Embarrased mom: It’s a bad word, an insult. I don’t ever want you to say it.
Overly inquisitive 9-year-old: OK, mommy, but what does it mean really?
Mom: It’s when someone is the child or parents who weren’t married. A long time ago that was shameful.
9-year-old: What’s wrong with your parents not being married?
And there you have it — what is wrong with it anymore? Nothing to my son’s generation. Half their friends are products of unmarried partners, accidents, single parents, and more. So who is a bastard anymore anyhow?