Thank You for Matt’s Mumps and Peaceful Sterility
My brother Matt was a peaceful child. He didn’t talk much and our chaotic environment didn’t seem to disturb his quiet fortitude.
He got the mumps when he was seven years old.
After a neighbor spotted Matt on the porch with chipmunk cheeks, said neighbor approached my mother and urged “You should be careful with him. He could become sterile if those mumps drop.”
I asked my mother what sterile meant but she shooed me away and left me to merely imagine.
Matt’s mumps went away and he became even quieter over time.
I then figured sterile must of meant silent because Matt’s mumps dropped out of sight and he sure was a quiet kid.
We later moved to a new town where I met a friend, Emma, who also had a little brother.
One day I was hanging out with Emma amidst her brother and my three younger brothers in the yard.
Emma asked “Hey what’s up with your brother, Matt? How come he never talks?”
In my most nonchalant child voice I replied “Oh, don’t mind him, he’s just a sterile type.”
My other brother piped in “I’m tellin’ you called Matt sterile!” Obviously, I was not alone in my misunderstanding of this word.
Emma looked very confused but Matt just walked away in his peaceful sterility.