never hit a girlPosted: December 4, 2012
At about eight years old, playing baseball with friends across the street from our tiny house, my older sister accidentally smacked my head with a baseball bat on the follow through. She was horrified to have clobbered me, and more horrified when I picked up the bat angrily and whacked her in her side. That was as big a mistake as I have ever made.
The two us crying our heads off, she ran into the house and the flimsy screen door slammed shut behind her. The door sounded like an earthquake and I felt the gravity of my action, the realization that unless I became invisible, there no way of getting into that little house and into my room unseen. You can’t pull your stomach in far enough to become invisible. I know, I tried. Through the front door I dared. My dad was waiting, arms crossed.
“Did you hit your sister?”
“Yes, but she…”
“Haven’t I told you NEVER to hit a girl”
This wasn’t going too well, “Yes, but…”
“Get over here” as he pulled out his belt, and then he followed with a sincere but inherently untrue “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.”
He beat me until the belt broke. I must have howled like a banshee, for my sisters used to remark on it from time to time. And though I have no memory of the pain except for the whistling sound a leather strap makes slicing the air before it strikes, my dad did once mention he always regretted breaking his favorite belt.
To this day, I have never raised a fist against a girl.
Some lessons we learn the hard way.