My dad did. In 2nd grade he taught me a huge lesson that stuck— don’t lie.
Thanks to the Green Bean Incident of 2nd Grade, I don’t. Ever! Back then, I hated green beans, and dad knew it. He asked that fateful night if I’d eaten my green beans. I did what kids do…I lied. I said I ate them. Dad couldn’t possibly know the truth. He wasn’t in the cafeteria, but my teacher, Mrs. Metzger, was and somehow, they talked about green beans. I know, it seems improbable, but, dad had her son in 7th grade Ohio History. Oh, the horrors of being a teacher’s daughter! OUCH!!!
So when dad asked about those green beans, he already knew the answer, and I got paddled for lying. That was the 60’s when parents could paddle. Ouch again! But the good news is I never lie…well except for when I tell someone they’re getting underwear for Christmas instead of their real gift. In 2nd grade I learned it’s better to face the truth and one punishment than double trouble when you lie: #1 for the lie, and #2 for the misdeed.
Interestingly enough, as an adult I discovered dad learned something from the Green Bean Incident too. He never again asked me about green beans and lunch. He learned that he put me in a corner, and in a way, pushed me to lie. He never put me in that corner again, pretty much. I’m grateful for the character lessons he gave me growing up, and for the role model that he was. I’m who I am because of dad’s lessons.
Happy Father’s Day to my dad where ever he is. He died 2 years ago. I miss him, but he’s never forgotten, because he got it. He just did!
PS- Have you ever wondered? I did— if my dad lied about paddling? I never believed him when he said, “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” It couldn’t possibly! I was the one getting whacked! I don’t think I ever used those words on my own kids, because, dad taught me not to lie…Green Bean Incident of 2nd Grade.
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!