My parents spanked me when I was a kid. They need not apologize. I didn’t turn out to be an alcoholic, a drug addict, or a maniac. If anything, I should apologize … for laughing at my mom when she spanked me.
She tried to make me remorseful for my sins, she really did. But my mom’s right hand lacked the oomph to make my bottom sting. Inevitably, I started laughing when she whipped me – my way of letting her know I was undeterred by the punishment. Sometimes I laughed so much she called my dad into the room. This signaled playtime, or what I deemed playtime, was over. His hand felt like being hit by a concrete projectile moving at the speed of a Nolan Ryan fastball.
“OWWWWWWWW!!!!” I screamed after the first thwack! Just like that I had found Jesus. Temporarily, at least.
This was two decades ago. I don’t recall why my parents spanked me just like I don’t recall why my kindergarten teacher washed my mouth with soap. I must have done something stupid in each case. I bear no scars from these experiences. Only vague memories jumbled in my head like the reception of the TV we had in our house when I was a kid.
PS: I did not write this to belittle the experiences of those who were spanked and suffered trauma from it. My parents took no glee in whipping me. I was the only person who laughed during the experience. Also: I am unsure whether I would whip my kids if I had kids. Maybe I would just slap them across the head instead or throw their cell phone into the bayou.