A Memory Man Production
You were widowed three years ago and Alan, thirteen, is your only son. Since being thrown together in grief you have developed a strong bond. Alan has matured quickly; he mucks in willingly to help you around the home and is generally well behaved, responsible and trustworthy. He does well at school and amazes you the way he juggles all this with his homework, rugby training and the demands of his friends. You are tremendously proud of him.
Robust and sporty, a fearless tackler, he is a star in his colts rugby team and you watch as many of his games as you can. He is also a typical headstrong boy who from time to time oversteps the mark and, on occasions, finds himself bare bottomed across your lap.
On these rare occasions you send him to his room to prepare and give him just two or three minutes to reflect before you follow him. You had occasion to spank him soon after his twelfth birthday and afterwards you dug out your heirloom strap to show him, telling him he was getting too big for little boy spankings and since that that is what you got once you had turned twelve he can follow you. You told him to put it in a drawer for if there was a next time but you have only used it once since then. Spanking seems to work for him; in fact in one of your more intimate conversations he confessed that although they were horrible at the time that afterwards he felt "sort of cleansed after having let you down."
Today Alan is behaving totally out of character, just moping around the house; clearly he's worrying about something he's keeping to himself. When you ask him if there's anything he'd like to talk about he uncharacteristically bursts into tears and runs upstairs. You give him a minute or two before you follow to find him sitting trouserless on his bed, still sobbing, and with the strap beside him.
You sit alongside him and place your arm round his shoulders. "Hey! Whatever's the matter son? How can I help?"
"I can't tell you. Just give me a hiding. I'll never do it again but I feel so guilty and ashamed I don't want you to know about it, I don't want ANYONE to know."
He moved to get across your lap but you stopped him. "Hang on a minute, I can't strap you without knowing why. You know that I'm proud of you; that's for all sorts of things and one bad act no matter how bad isn't going to change that. Just trust me, I'll help you if I can, but let me decide if its bad enough to deserve punishment."
He was becoming hysterical "Dad!! You just don't understand. I'm so ashamed I don't want anyone to know EVER" Then he thrust the strap in your hand. "JUST DO IT"
What will you do? Will you "cleanse" him as he appears to so desperately want (and perhaps needs) without knowing why? If not how will you calm him and get your Alan back?