This morning, I said a word I shouldn’t have said about Holy Guacamole. (She’s our cat.)

“Mom,” Lucy gasped (because we all know how she feels about bad words). “Santa can hear you!”

“You’re on the naughty list now,” Dave teased.

Lucy promptly ran into the dining room, sat down next to Julia and whispered, “Hey. Hey. Mommy’s on the naughty list. She said the ass word.”

Julia tore her eyes away from her book to look Lucy in the face.

“You know, asshole.”

Julia’s mouth dropped open.

“She’s not going to get any presents this year!”

“Santa hasn’t brought me a present in years,” I said, placing a plate of pancakes on the table. “I’m a lifer on the naughty list.”

I winked at Dave and we all laughed, except Lucy. She twirled her fork in her hand and looked thoughtful.

About forty-five minutes later, during the commute to school, Lucy piped up from the back seat, “Mom? Mom, I have something important to tell you.”

I turned the radio down and got ready to listen. “Alright.”

“If you’re really on the naughty list, I’ll share my presents with you.”

“Oh honey, that’s very sweet, but you don’t have to do that.”

“Everyone should get presents on Christmas, especially you, Mom, because I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

“But you might now want to say that ass word anymore.”