Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Spanking

First grade was a real challenge for me. It wasn't the academic requirements that were so difficult; it was the level of self-discipline one needed in order to be a contributing member of Mrs. Borden's first-grade class. I thought she was mean. She thought I was a disturbance. I was often sent home with notes... bad notes that said things like "Colleen is very busy, wiggly, and talks too much" ... "Colleen needs more self-control." After several discussions about "self control", no improvement, and more "bad" notes, my parents decided that talking about it wasn't impressive enough; it was time for me to get a spanking.

I remember the anticipation I felt knowing that a spanking was coming. I knew I had earned it. I had put water in the sandbox even though I understood it was against the rules (but SERIOUSLY, how fun is dry sand?) I had been dancing on the lunch tables (don't really remember that one, but mom wrote it in her journal, and it doesn't surprise me). I had been much too social during class time and was a disturbing element. If anyone deserved a spanking, I did.

To this day, I remember being in the master bedroom with Dad that evening. He sat on the edge of the king-sized bed and lifted me up on his knee. We had a little talk about choices and how I could choose whether to be a "good girl" or a "bad girl". I told him I really wanted to be a good girl, but sometimes I'd forget. He said that this spanking was going to help me remember. I could hear my brothers giggling and whispering outside the bedroom door, "tee hee hee... Colleen's getting a spanking." That really bugged me. (Geez! Can a girl get no privacy around here!?!) I could tell it bugged Dad too. He got up quickly and threw open the door. Those brothers of mine scattered so fast, they were barely a blur. Streaks of little boys' limbs flashed from the doorway as they fled for their lives.

Alone at last, Dad and I finished our little talk and then he took me over his knee and swatted me good. The first one hurt, but the second was worse, and the third one was about as much as I could take. There were at least two more after that and I started to wonder how long this would go on. Five good swats on the bum. It stung... stung enough to help me remember.

Later in life, when Dad and I talked about that incident, he said that he expected me to run away from him in anger. He said that typically when children are disciplined harshly, their initial reactions are rage, resentment, and even yelling "I hate you!" He told me about his surprise when I turned towards him, wrapped my arms around his neck, and hugged him. He said it melted his heart.

I'm not really sure what the point of this post is, other than to say how grateful I am to have had a father who loved me. He. Loved. Me. And I knew it. He loved me enough to discipline me when I needed it. He loved me enough to establish limits and boundaries. He loved me enough to set high expectations. He loved me enough that I never doubted it. And I loved him.


  1. Colleen, you're a wonderful role model and I am so blessed to know your wonderful family. I asked heavenly father for guidance and he saw that I found my way to the restored truth of his church and the book of mormon. Your sons and daughters helped me along the way. Elder Drake, was the one who made the call to the missionaries and the book of mormon. From that moment I knew the next step was to pray of it. After this prayer I know this church is true and he gave me the courage to move forward with faith in Jesus Christ.

    I own heavenly father so much for the blessings of guidance. Tough times are about me but with faith I will come through them just fine.

    Again thank you so much.

  2. Just beautiful! Thanks for sharing that with others. I hope I can be a father like your father. And that my children will love me as you love him!