A true story.
A five-year old girl grabbed her Dad’s whiskey and tried to gulp it down like the cowboys do in the westerns.
Furious, her Dad yelled, “Don’t spit it out! Swallow it!”
With tears in her eyes, she choked it down, gagging and crying.
Not a nice Dad in my opinion.
The little girl is now a grown woman with grown sons of her own.
She is a great mother.
Her Dad was always tough with his three children.
He was still alive when she told me this story. More than once I witnessed him being mean to his children and grandchildren.
I was not intimidated by him and found the presence of mind not to respond when he tried to bait me.
But when he was mean to my children, I put on my boxing gloves.
I stood up and went over to my children. I took them each by the hand.
I ignored the old man.
I spoke loudly and firmly to my little boys. I told them that he was a bully and that they should ignore him.
Having said that, I glared at the old man. He said nothing.
Even to this day my grown sons will laugh about the time Mom “took on this old man”.
It was a departure from everything I had been taught about treating my elders with respect.
Years later, thinking about his behavior still makes me angry.
My friend never had a good relationship with her father.
She is a wonderful artist and a really kind person.