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Slapped Some Sense Into You

, , , , , , | Related | March 7, 2018

I am maybe four-ish when this happens, so I don’t remember it, but I’ve been told the story secondhand.

My mom’s car starts to break down on the highway. It lasts just long enough for her to safely pull into the parking lot of a defunct restaurant, but then she has the problem of needing to call for help. These are pre-cell-phone days, so the closest phone is at the gas station across the street. She decides that, instead of herding us across such a busy intersection, and trying to control us while tethered to a payphone, she will leave us in the car. She instructs my eight-year-old brother that he is in charge for the next ten minutes, and makes it very clear that under no circumstances are either of us to leave the car.

She runs across the street, calls my dad for help, and comes back as fast as she can. At some point I must have tried to follow her, because when she comes back she finds me pouting in the back seat with a bright red handprint on my face.

Many years later, I tell this story to my Nana, and she immediately goes to defend my brother with, “Oh, I’m sure he was just scared…” I have to reassure her that, no, I do not harbor any ill will towards him for that at all; I would much prefer being slapped in the face to being flattened by a truck.

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