I would never have been accused of being a great athlete – but during the long hot summer days of my youth I was never without some type of ball. Baseball, basketball and tennis; at some point, I played them all.
However, it was a soccer ball that earned me one of my most vivid memories over my mother’s knee during my 11th summer.
I had just taken up the game a year before and had spent several weeks at a local soccer camp. Early one morning, I woke up and decided to practice some of the drills I had learned during the camp. Since none of my soccer playing buddies were around, I decided the best way to practice was to kick the ball against our brick house.
When mother came out to get the morning paper, she told me to stop. She was afraid I would kick the ball through one of the basement windows. It was also early enough that my teenage sister and cousin were still sleeping and she thought it might wake them up. I just kind of nodded and waited for my mom to go inside.
A few minutes later, I was back at it. I’m not sure what purpose the drill served or if it was going to make me a better player but I was having a lot of fun pretending I had scored the winning goal in some big tournament. My shots off the wall got faster and harder until I guess my mother heard and came out again. That’s when I got the stern motherly warning: “I’m not going to tell you again.”
Two minutes later it happened. I was about to quit when I decided to take one more shot. I guess I didn’t get it high enough, because it crashed through the window with enough noise to wake the dead. My mother came storming out of the house, with my sister and cousin not far behind. Thankfully, none of the neighbours were around to hear her announce that I was in for the spanking of my life.
My sister and cousin were privy to the ordeal as mom dragged me inside, ripped down my tennis shorts and briefs and swatted my bare backside while pushing me down the basement stairs. For some reason my sister and cousin followed. I was furious that they were getting a view of what the Good Lord had given me. When I tried to pull up my pants, my mother informed me that the spanking wasn’t through.
After looking over the damaged window and telling me I wouldn’t get my allowance for six months, she pulled me over a chair and finished my punishment. At least my sister and cousin were made to go upstairs – but they had already seen enough.
Later, my mom calmed down and told me she wasn’t upset over the broken window, but at the fact that I had promised her I would stop kicking the ball against the house.