Look, we’re the first to admit that it would be just lovely if the world abided by consistent rules. But here we are, man. You just trying to get your kid literate and us just trying to earn a little God damn respect.

Do you think we like being your child’s introduction to the chaos at the core of reality? Do you think we wouldn’t love to be the hats and cats and bats and mats of the world? Well, spoiler alert: that’s not how this story ends, bucko. But close your eyes and imagine a universe where thoughts get no deeper than “Dogs eat food!” or “We run fast!” Is that the kind of world you want your child to live in? No! Basic concepts need sophisticated connectors so shit can get deep. So, fuck you, we’re Sight Words!

We worked hard to wind up here. We eluded alternate pronunciations that actually followed logic. We sidestepped countless efforts to render us vestigial. Time and time again we defied slang’s trendy-ass bullshit. We rallied together, branded ourselves, and proved to the whole fucking world that the path to literacy starts with us. We’re the linguistic equivalent to a union. Fuck you, we’re Sight Words!

So bust out the flash cards and start culling together every errant scrap of your child’s fleeting attention span. Whip up every memory trick or mnemonic device you can muster and hold onto your soaring temper as a mere fraction of a percent of any of it will work. And breathe deep, motherfucker, because there are 22 different lists of us.

Your kid will cry. She will barter. He will do anything to avoid us. And no, the same ingenuity that they invest in finding ways to avoid us cannot be channeled into learning us. But hey, you keep on trying that argument. Please. It never stops being funny to us. You know why? Because fuck you, we’re Sight Words!

And just so you know, that seat in the top reading group, that’s some Survivor-level shit, man. Don’t get comfortable because that throne is earned and it must be maintained — every day, all day, son. You know what the other kids are doing while you are spending quality family time? Fuck you, they’re learning Sight Words!

Not that it’s fun for us to hear you explain why the new group isn’t worse, just different. Honestly, we hate that part and everything it says about how we live our lives. But we took an oath to one another and we do not bend. You will get smoked out if you do not take us seriously. Sight Words!

Real talk: When Chasen or Elle or Miles or Nico is 40 years old, their lives will not resemble anything you have planned for them. And we know full well you will have long since started taking us for granted by then, having forgotten the anxiety and agony of learning us vicariously today. But if you’re lucky, Emma or Jackson or Madison or Caden will have figured out how to jerry-rig a meaningful existence by finding unexpected ways to tie the stock and obvious building blocks of life together into more complex and enduring structures that suit them as individuals. Sound familiar? So glad that somewhere along the line they had to work their freshly potty-trained asses off to learn such things.

Fuck you! Sight words!