I never knew my dad – he was killed in the first Gulf War when I was just a baby and my sister only three years older. My mom, however, was a very resilient woman who, faced with tragedy, was determined to do her best to bring up her man’s children properly.
Being from that military background, you perhaps won’t be surprised to learn that Mom was a firm believer in corporal punishment for naughty kids, and both Suzy and I got our behinds warmed pretty regularly more or less as soon as we were out of diapers. Mom believed in ‘the rod’ as specified by the Bible, and used a wooden spoon on our bare skin. Another reason why she didn’t use her hand was that she had pretty bad arthritis, which really did prove for once that ‘this hurts me more than it hurts you’.