Thanks for taking the time to respond to my letter about my childhood spanking incident. You really let me have it, but thanks for being honest.
If you remember, I got spanked at 10 for not leaving a note telling my mom where I was. But I did! My little sister threw the note away. I never forgave my mom, and a year later went to live with my dad. Now my sister wants us to reconcile.
I am going to do this because of my sister. She blames herself because she accidentally threw my note away and tore our family apart. But I never blamed her. She was a little kid and it was an accident. She has more love in her heart than anyone I know.
I haven’t gone nine years without actually seeing my mom. We formed a truce around my sister. I spent the better part of a summer at home when my sister had knee surgery, while my mom was at work. But I did not socialize with my mom.
I did not accept or exchange gifts with her. I declined an invitation when she remarried. Our last direct communication was a brief one when I graduated from high school.
My sister and mother are real tight, which is good. My sister has been trying to put us together for a while now, but how is this possible? My relatives on my mom’s side hate me.
I am reaching a point in life where deep down I know you are right. But how should I proceed?
Renee, even if your sister didn’t throw the note away, and your mom spanked you in a moment of panic, we still wouldn’t agree with you. Your mom apologized.
You have to get to the point where you let this go. When you are wrong, you are wrong. And you are wrong. Your only defense is you made a bad choice as a 10-year-old child to banish your mother from your life. What your mother did should have resulted in a day or two of pouting. You turned it into nine years of hostility.
Under the circumstances, what are you asking us? Isn’t it the same question your mother would ask. “I made a mistake. I dealt out a punishment in error. How do I get my daughter back?”
Your best defense is, “I was a child, not yet 10, and I had the perceptions and judgment of a child. Now I am an adult. Now I see I blew something totally out of proportion.”
You think we were hard on you. Look at it this way. When a mother holds a baby while a doctor gives the baby a shot, don’t you think that is hard on the mom? When the baby is going to get stuck with a needle, it’s hard on mom too, but inoculations are a must for the child.
We had to be hard on you. We took hours and days to figure out a way to reach you. Do you think we did that because we don’t care? Sometimes you have to hurt someone to help them, just like the baby.
It’s often the difficult things, the painful things, that show the most love.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of March 21, 2016
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