Monday, January 6, 2014

The might of the wooden spoon

My two recent posts on friends and music were the result of some recent musings on what I have learned to appreciate in my 74 years on God’s green earth.  (I like the term “musings”.  It sounds so much more scholarly and intellectual than ruminating or pondering; I must remember to use it more often to describe my ruminating and pondering.)  This small story explains how I came to appreciate the might of my mother’s wooden kitchen spoon.

My mother never laid a hand on me.  The few times when corporal punishment was deemed a necessity to assure my development into a stable and well balanced adult, a small wood spoon would somehow appear in her hand.  I remember clearly one such incident.  I was four or five years old, and the dastardly deed, of which I have no recollection, apparently warranted the spoon.  I was standing at one end of the dinning room table and she was at the other end, the spoon clearly visible in her hand.  “Come here” she said quietly, and when I didn’t move she said it again, increasing the gravity in her voice one or two notches.  Now even at that young age I was perceptive, and I knew this was not going to end well for me.  Running from her would not work, I tried that once and hit my head on the table, nor could I convince her that she was mistaken in her interpretation of the events leading up to this confrontation.  So I did what any bright and doomed young boy would do; I shamelessly pleaded and begged for forgiveness, vowing that I would never, ever do it again – whatever it was I did.  I promised I would be a good boy forever and ever.

All to no avail.

It is difficult to imagine this tiny lady yielding a wooden spoon.  Today I can only imagine how she had to struggle to keep from laughing as her distraught boy tried desperately to plead his way to safety.

That tiny lady died 23 years ago and I still miss her fiercely. 

No comments: