-A Journey Of Forgiveness

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgives but do not forget-Thomas Szasz

Sore ass and hurt feelings. I just couldn’t believe she hit me and with a belt at that! I got my first real whooping and I was devastated. The worst part is, I didn’t even know what I did wrong.

Like I mentioned before, as a young girl I was a lover of anything “girly”. My sister Amber always wore these pretty ribbons and bows in her hair but, I was not allowed to touch or wear them.  Well, I wanted to wear bows in my hair this particular day and I was going to wear some bows. I didn’t want to break the rules so, before I left for school that morning, I stuffed my pockets with toilet paper. On my way to school, I carefully tied the toilet paper around my braids to appear as hair bows. My big sister, Margaret, found this to be utterly embarrassing. 

“Take that crap out of your hair! It looks stupid,”

“No, it don’t! It’s cute.”

“Everybody is going to know it’s toilet paper Manosha.”

“Nu-un! Watch, nobody will know!”

“Take it out or I’m telling!”

“So, what! It’s just toilet paper, I didn’t take the real bows so tell then!”

Nope, I wasn’t backing down so, I wore my “handmade” hair bows all day. Margaret wasn’t backing down either. She did just as she promised and told on me as soon as we got home from school.  Brat! By this time my “handmade” bows had crumbled up and fallen out. Spring didn’t seem phased. She just said ok and went to the bathroom.  No problem….

Moments later, “Manosha come here”, Spring called. No anger in her voice so I’m not in trouble, I thought. I stepped into the bathroom and she calmly closed the door behind me. Still, with calm composure, stand in front of me with her hands behind her back she asked, “What did you take to school today?”.  “Nothing”, I replied.  “Manosha, what did you take to put in your hair?”  she asked a little sterner now.  “Oh, toilet paper”, I said laughing. However, Spring was not even smiling. In fact, she didn’t smile, flinch or blink. Instead, she had this oddly peaceful yet disturbing stare. 

“Where are the hair bows you took to school?” she asked. “I didn’t take any. I made them with toilet paper.” I whined back. 

“Why did you think it was ok to waste the toilet paper?”

“I wanted bows”

“Turn around, pull your pants and underwear down and put your hands on the toilet” she instructed. Now I was all kinds of confused. While I never got a whooping myself, I did see my cousins and Margaret get a whooping and it did not involve them taking off underwear. So, I just stood there looking as confused as I felt. Then she slowly brought her hands from behind her back to reveal a thick, leather, black belt. 

Now, I understood and knew what time it was and burst out into tears. Meanwhile, Spring just stood there, still looking calm, and patiently watched me remove my pants and underwear. “The more you cry, the louder your cry the longer the whooping. If you move your hands or turn around we start over”, she calmly explained. 

First whooping EVER, despite the warnings, I cried and screamed for what felt like an hour. I didn’t dare turn around or move my hands but, I could not stop the tears, cries, and screams. I had to stand there with my hands on the toilet seat, her hand on my shoulder as she counted off each smack of the belt. Often times she would start the count over because of a loud scream or two from me. I can’t tell you the actual number of whacks but, to my 8-year-old mind, it was about 1002.  

Sore ass and hurt feelings were what I was left with but, that was not the last time that I was struck by Spring lighting. This was just the calm before the actual storm. What I knew to be my first whooping was something that I was about to become really familiar with. So familiar, that I would learn how to take those whooping with no screams, no cries, no tears and be happy to get praise about how well I took my whooping. I learned to weather the storm….

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