A Father and Son Tradition
By Jack Wells
Saul Levi Hutchinson and his wife had five sons. Following in his footsteps, each of his five sons went forth, were fruitful, and multiplied. Among the five of them, who were now between twenty-eight and thirty-seven, they’d had seventeen children. Not all of them were boys, but many were. Saul Hutchinson had three granddaughters, along with two grandsons, who hadn’t started school yet.
That left twelve of us who were school age. At six, Timmy was the youngest of the boys in the room. He was only a first grader, and this was his first year with us. Jesse was the eldest of us, here or elsewhere. He was a senior in high school, and had just turned eighteen about a month ago.
On the table on the side of the room, a new pair of Christmas pajamas waited for each of us, but right now, all twelve of us were as naked as the day we’d been born. Timmy, like the other four boys who were still in single digits, had tear-stained upper cheeks, and rosy red lower ones. Timmy and his eight-year old brother Tommy had both gotten it with sticks – a paint stirrer for Timmy and an old-fashioned ruler for Tommy. Jake was also eight, but his dad, Uncle Ben, had used a small plastic paddle, the type that comes with a ball on an elastic band. I’m pretty sure it was his first time to get it, and I’m very sure it stung like crazy, because he was howling before his dad finished with him. The oldest of the single digits was Nate, who’d be ten in just a few weeks. In celebration of his upcoming birthday, his dad had given him a hand spanking. While his bottom was mostly red, you could still see Uncle Jordan’s hand prints in places on the sides of his cheeks and his legs.
There were only three tweens, like me. Adam and David were both eleven, almost exactly a year younger than me. Like me and the younger kids, their upper cheeks were definitely tear-stained. Unlike the younger kids, our bottoms were definitely darker than rosy.
Uncle Caleb had started with Adam, and he started by presenting his son with a brand new paddle. It was about the same size as the Little Deer novelty paddle he’d used when Adam was a single-digit, but this one was made out of clear plastic.
Adam was crying from almost the first smack, and howling long before Uncle Caleb finished. I was watching Uncle Aaron, standing there in the plaid adult pajamas all Grandpa’s sons were wearing, his arm around David, who was just as naked as the rest of us. Uncle Aaron was so impressed that he asked if he could give it a try. David howled just as long and loud as Adam had.
Apparently I should have been paying less attention to Uncle Aaron and more to my dad, because he was just as impressed, and asked if he could test it out, too.
I’m pretty sure I wasn’t any quieter than my cousins had been.
The younger teens were basically in the same situation as we were, except their cheeks were still a little damp.
The twins – Michael and Gabriel – were thirteen. Uncle Jordan had brought a ‘spanking stick’ for them. I think it was really a dowel rod, but it was very effective all the same. Uncle Jordan made the two of them bend over chairs, almost like when you get paddled in school. Back and forth, he gave each boy a stroke, then moved to his brother. The strokes were whistling in loudly, and each one made me jump a bit. The twins yelled every time a stroke came down, but they stayed in place. They danced their feet around, but when their dad tapped their legs with that stick, the feet went back flat. They never did stand up or even lift their elbows.
Ethan was next, and his was a funny moment. I’m sure it wasn’t funny for him, and all of us had a pretty good idea that laughing would not be a good idea, but Uncle Aaron took a belt to him. He didn’t bend him over anything though, but took him by the arm. Ethan managed to hold still for the first few licks, but after three, he started to jump a bit, and by six, he was trying to dance away from that belt. Uncle Aaron kept going, though, and he didn’t stop until Ethan had danced around a full circle. Ethan’s pretty big, and his thing is big and hairy, and it was bouncing all around as Ethan danced. Even though Ethan was yelling and crying, his thing was kind of getting hard as it bounced around, and I finally had to look away to keep from laughing.
The break was good, because Nick’s whupping was real serious. Nick is a football player, and he’s real big. When his dad told him to get over the couch, though, he did. Nick lay over the arm of the couch, then put his hands on the back of his head, with the fingers laced. His dad stepped up behind him with this big belt thing with split ends. He called it a tawse.
Nick got sixteen smacks with that thing. By the end, he was howling, and when he got up, you could see that his face was soaked with tears. He’d never cried though. When he stood, his dad smiled at him, and draped an arm across his shoulders.
Then we all turned to look at Jesse and Uncle Aaron.
Uncle Aaron picked up a bath brush, walked over to a tall stool that stood to one side of the room, and climbed onto it. There was a small step stool next to it, and Jesse used that to step up next to his dad.
Uncle Aaron talked for a minute, explaining that, even though Jesse was eighteen, he was still his son, and Uncle Aaron still had a responsibility to care for him, help him, and correct him when needed.
Jesse was eighteen, slightly taller than Uncle Aaron, and he was hairy. Not just on his thing either, or even his legs. Jesse even had hair on his chest and stomach. Still, he let his dad guide him across the man’s lap.
When Jesse was in place, Uncle Aaron lifted that bath brush and he went to work, smacking it all over – first going slow and careful, then fast and furious. Jesse took it quietly at first, but before Uncle Aaron had finished, Jesse was kicking, squirming, and crying every bit as much as Timmy had been.
Finally, Uncle Aaron let Jesse climb to his feet. He dropped the brush behind him and pulled his adult son into a hug. All of us, still naked and sore, gathered around our own dads, and we all hugged each other for a long moment.
“Well,” Grandpa said after a long, quiet time. “It looks like all my grandsons have put all their misdeeds behind them and are ready to have a good Christmas.”
Grandpa then reached down next to his chair, where he’d quietly watched the entire thing.
“But, like Aaron said, a father’s responsibilities don’t stop because his son turns eighteen, and men don’t quit being sons just because they’re fathers.”
Grandpa stood from his chair, holding a bath brush just like the one Uncle Aaron had used, except this one was clear plastic. He walked over to the tall stool and climbed into place.
“Your sons have had their turn, boys, and now it’s yours. Get those pajamas off. Jordan, you’re first, boy – get moving.”