Today I spent lunch with my little brother from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. We played free-style scrabble while he ate. The very first word he laid down was virgin. I didn’t think too much about it. I figured he knew the word, and since he had the letters it was a great score. Little brother continued to beat me. Our final score was little brother – 127, big brother – 78.
Little brother had about a dozen letters in his holder at any point in time, I caught him peeking a little when grabbing new letters from the bag, and he was using names. Still, he was throwing out good words and we were having lots of fun. I let little brother get by with nana, but I finally called him on using names when he tried to slip in ian. He said if names were a problem why didn’t I say something when he used virgin? He only used it because he had a classmate with the last name of Virgin. I said that’s because virgin was a regular word too.
And then it happened. Little brother asked me what virgin meant. He’s only in fourth grade. How do I explain virgin to a fourth grader who’s not my kid? I sputtered and stalled. Keep in mind, we’re in a room with other volunteers and their littles. I finally told little brother that in the old days people used to sacrifice virgins. That’s about as lame as you can get, but little brother accepted it without any more questions. I sighed in relief. The big sister sitting behind us just about choked to death trying not to laugh. You never know what’s going to happen with kids.