January 28th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
There’s this photo of me sitting on a throne. I was a year old. The throne was gaudy, golden with those opulent curves. It must have made an impression on my one year old self, because I struck a distinctly royal pose: A bit slouched with my head cocked to the side, my expression pouty, bored and condescending. I was king.
A child born in a time of peace and relative prosperity to a decent set of parents lives like a king, a queen. Royalty. As well they should. Her royal highness will eat when she wants, sleep or not sleep as she fancies. Her most excellent greatness will relieve herself where and whenever she chooses. You’ll clean up her mess and wait on her hand and foot. Dressed, bathed, burped. And if anything displeases her, you’ll hear about it. She reigns. Those first few months, the world revolves around her. You’re going to smile, and like it.
But we all know your kid can’t stay on that throne. A time comes when they must be ushered off: Learn to play with others, mind their parents. They have to learn that they’re not above the law, that their wants do not orchestrate the universe. When that time comes, when they look straight at you and cross that proverbial line to say, “What are you going to do about it Pops?” It is the father’s job to lovingly remove the kid from the throne. And a spanking expresses like nothing else, “You’re not the king. You’re not the queen.”
Really, what I’m talking about is an elementary introduction to the most valuable of all virtues, humility. It’s a father’s job to pass this great gift along to a child. And so I reasoned, if an occasional swat on the bottom is going to lead to my child’s first steps away from his/her throne, I’m prepared to administer it.