Wisdom Wednesday: The Spanking that Never Was


Joan Joyce (Schiavon) Huesca
1928 – 1987

In her own words  (Part Eight)

In the episode that follows from her (unfinished) book, Joan Joyce Schiavon Huesca: an Autobiography, my mother recounts a poignant memory of the wise way her father, Ralph Schiavon, understood that sometimes the fearful anticipation of a consequence for one’s actions is more effective than the consequence itself.  This was one of her favorite stories, and she told it often, adding that this event was, for her, a hallmark of the mutual understanding and love between her and her father.


My grandfather, Ralph Schiavon,
Chicago, Illinois.

“I had escaped spankings…but there was one time, that I almost received a firm hand on my bottom.  I don’t recall what I had done, but I remember my Mother was very angry and threatened that when my Father would come home, I would be spanked.  

“All afternoon, I worried, my Father had such BIG HANDS!  ‘This will be some spanking,’ thought I.  Finally, the hours passed, the front door opened and there was my Daddy…SO BIG!  He had a smile on his face, which quickly disappeared as my Mother told him of my misbehavior.  A stern, serious expression crept across his face, and I stood there, grasping my Mother’s dress hem, trying to disappear behind her.

“My Father grunted, ‘Come with me.’  I followed as slowly as possible, cringing inside with fear.  We entered the bathroom, my Father closed the door, turned to me, and asked if I was sorry for whatever I had done.  In a small voice, I replied that, ‘Oh yes, I was very sorry and I promise never to do it again.’  

“In the meantime, my Mother, waiting outside in the hall, was having second thoughts about my punishment.   A smile appeared on my Father’s face, and he plotted with me to clap his big hands together, and I would scream as loud as I could.

“My Mother called out for my Father to stop spanking me.  We opened the door, with big smiles, I in my Father’s arms, and that was the tale of my only ‘spanking-that-never-was.’ Let me add that from that time on, I think there was a special bond between my Father and me.  My Father had been beaten as a boy, as my Grandfather was very stern, and through my life, my Father tried to shield me from harm.”

                                                                                 Joan Huesca

Copyright ©  2012  Linda Huesca Tully

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.