Tales from the O-NO Ranch: Quien sabe (who knows)
by “Mad” Jack Hanks
Who knows how a kid is gonna turn out these days? Gentle readers, times are a changin’ and some of it is not gonna be for the better. I see, as you do, a lot of young children these days that seem to be on a path to nowhere but insecurity and selfishness, who are good candidates to come completely unstitched when the going gets really rough. We raised our kids, as I bet you did, to speak softly, tell the truth, and respect any and every adult. Now a days, we have some adults that don’t deserve any respect simply by the way they choose to behave.
I remember one of the first and hardest whippings I ever got, and this is a good example of how times have changed. It happened this a way: I’m sittin’ on the front porch with pencil and pad in hand. I’m 5 years old and I’m drawin’ a picture of ole Buck, my old wore out gelding who is staked out in the front yard. Some times when a male horse relaxes, he relaxes all the way if you get my drift. That’s the way I drew him. I excitedly ran into the house where my dad, who was a deacon in the church, was sitting in his favorite chair listening to a boxing match on the radio. This was back in the good ole days before television.
“Dad, wanna see a drawing of ole Buck?”
“Sure, let me see it son,” he said as his sleepy eyes glanced at the picture. “That’s purty good son, but you drawed ole Buck with five legs!”
“No sir, I drawed him with four legs, see, one, two, three, four,” I counted them out.
“Well, what’s this here then?” my dad asked with a uneven brow.
“That’s his wee wee,” I confidently boasted.
Well, children, that’s all it took. Dad was up and out of that chair before I could scream child abuse and he gave me a whippin’ and a hard one for havin’ the nerve to be a realist as an artist. I didn’t realize I had done anything wrong, I was just drawin’ a picture of my ole hoss just as I saw him.
Today, I believe most parents feel guilty unless they subscribe to every theory out there about raising children and let them form opinions and speak those opinions whenever they choose. Our kids didn’t get to have an opinion, unless it happened to agree with ours, until they were starting their teenage years, and then, and only then, would we debate a subject with them if we felt it had any merit for debating.
Most of us today don’t face the pressures and hazards that today’s youth have to endure. It makes it even harder on them (in my opinion) when mom and dad, or mom and live-in boyfriend, or dad and live-in girlfriend, refuse to lay out the rules and demand that those rules are kept. That’s an oxymoron anyway, ain’t it?
I believe that kids today have too much time, too much freedom and too much to be exposed to before their teenage years. Somebody has got to set the right examples and see to it that the rules of the house are obeyed.
Some parents think it’s cool to let their kids throw a keg party at their home. “They’re gonna drink some time and they should do it right here at the house where we can keep an eye on ’em!” That’s a direct invitation for a kid to drink anywhere he or she chooses if mom and dad think that it’s okay to drink at home.
I know, I know, I’m an ole fuddy duddy. I also know that some kids grow up under those conditions and turn out to be wonderful citizens. Some don’t. Some get killed in car wrecks before they ever reach an age where they can leave home.
I truly believe that kids are lookin’ for somebody, anybody to give them some direction in their lives where they can find a comfort zone knowing that somebody loves them enough to make them toe the mark. You cannot succeed in this old world without discipline! When there are no boundaries, sooner or later, somebody is gonna go over the cliff. You may catch some flack by raising yer kids the right way, but if yer catchin’ flack, you must be over the target. Quien sabe?
Stay tuned and check yer cinch on occasion! C. ya.