“John, we’ve got to talk.”
“Okay.” Sensing the seriousness in the voice of his bride he folded the newspaper to put it away. After eight years of marriage he knew when to hold em’ and knew when to fold em’.
“John, I need help with our daughters. You . . .”
“Now hold on, you know I can’t stomach dirty diapers. I can handle the pee but not the poop.”
“John . . . that’s not what I’m talking about,” Mary said, giving him that, shut up and listen look. “Besides, our daughters haven’t been in diapers for almost a year.”
“Oh.” John sighed with relief.
Mary continued, “Dear, I need help with disciplining the girls. Why do I always have to be the heavy? I get on to them and they run to you. And what do you do? Protect them from me.”
“Mary, you know what you’re asking. I can’t. You know I can’t.”
“I know, I know, but you’re going to have to find a way, John. I’m tired of being the bad guy,” Mary said as she disappeared back into the kitchen.
Painful memories flooded him as his mind raced back to the scars of his life. His back began to feel warm as he remembered the blood that flowed from the cuts on his back from a relentless rubber hose. As a young boy he had heard of his friends at school being spanked on their bottom. Something he knew very little of as his discipline resolved from the back of his neck to his waist.
God, I can’t do this. What if I go too far? It would kill me if I hurt one of my angels. I can’t, I can’t . . take . . that . . chance. John thought to himself as his greatest fear reminded him of the monster he once knew could still be lurking in the shadows. Not his parents, but rather the thing he feared most: himself.
The seeds of his youth brought crops of a bitter harvest in his life that had taken deep roots. Early in his life he became violent with a very short fuse. A volcano of hate and anger would erupt with constant flow of self-destruction over the smallest tremors in his life. But his constant nightmare was that he would become his father’s son. This was why he swore that he would never become a husband and most definitely not a father. But he never counted on Mary, the beauty that would tame the beast with her love long enough to lead him to the Creator of new creations.
“John, you can start now.” Mary called out from the kitchen. “Jenny has taken crayons to the wall in her room, again. I have her sitting in her room waiting for you.”
Knowing she was right he headed down the hall to Jenny’s room. His heart was racing as he entered her room and closed the door behind him.
“Jenny, do you know why I’m here?” John asked with a shaky voice.
“Mommy said you were going to spank me for coloring the wall.” Jenny said giving him the sad puppy eyes that always made him cave in to just a hug.
“Bend over and let’s get this over with, Jenny.” A tear rolled down her cheek at the thought of her daddy giving her a spanking as she leaned over her bed.
John knelt down beside the bed and raised his hand that was shaking violently. God, help me, he prayed to himself as he brought his hand to his chest. Then once again he raised his hand and swatted her bottom three times, which barely disturbed the dust on the bottom of her jeans.
Jenny’s heart broke into tears, but as she rose up from the bed, her crying turned to a look of bewilderment. Her daddy was crying more than she was. She put her hand on the side of his face. “Don’t cry, Daddy. I’m okay. Really.” With that, she put her arms around his neck.
Later that night, Mary came down the hall and overheard Jenny saying her prayers before going to bed. “. . . and God bless Sue, God bless Lizzy, God bless Mommy, and God bless Daddy. Oh and one more thing God, help me be good so my Daddy don’t cry when he spanks me. It didn’t really hurt, but don’t tell him I said that, okay? Amen.”
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