Esther LeBaron & Floyd Spencer:
Fights, Plights, and Physical Punishment
When you lead your sons and daughtersElijah Ben Solomon Zalman
in the good way, let your words be tender and caressing, in terms of discipline that
wins the heart’s assent.”
Whatever the cause of insanity in my Mexico-LeBaron-Johnson line; or the problems between my Father and Grandfather Dayer, I’m glad Mother wouldn’t marry Father till he made a pact with her NEVER to argue nor fight in front of her kids.
My otherwise strict and domineering Dad not only agreed to her demand, but fairly well stuck to it, the whole time I was growing up. My parent’s disagreements and problems were solved in their bedroom behind closed doors. Thank God!
But two years after I married and left home, Daddy lost his temper, blew his stack in front of the kids; broke his pact with Ma — and her heart — for the first and last time; another story for another time.
However, my Daddy loved Mother so much that during the sixteen years I lived at home, sensitive and high strung though he was, somewhat sadistic King Dad managed — at least when not in their bedroom, out of earshot — to always keep his cool with meek, submissive Mom; no matter how disorganized the house might be when he got home from a hard day’s work.
But my loving and creative Mom did much to help keep peace in our home, even if she couldn’t keep up with the overwhelming responsibilities of ultimately fourteen kids and at least six miscarriages in the space of 21 years, on top of the home’s upkeep.
For one thing, other than always having his meals on time and the house clean, perennially-pregnant Ma avoided many unpleasant, unsettling situations with her idol, perfect Patriarch Pa — once she found herself in love with and married to a gifted artist, replete with the artist’s temper; as well as that of a temperamental tyrant suffering Post-World-War-I-Veteran PTSD/Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome; among other things.
How did Ma manage Pa? She believed in and lived by the Mormon Fundy precept that her husband was priesthood head of the family; so had the first, last, and every other word in between, when it came to his family.
Mama couldn’t even give me permission to spend the night at a girlfriend’s home, nor let me attend a party I was invited to, without first asking King Daddy’s consent; which consent he generally denied.
The following are typical King-Dad outbursts, when it came to our socializing — over and above attending Church and Sunday School:
“Don’t be traipsin’ about town, pickin’ up bad habits and worldly ideas from other people; people ALWAYS trespassing against God’s laws!
And don’t think yer everybody’s little darlings, either!
“You have plenty of brothers ‘n’ sisters to play with; and work to do! Stay ta home where ya belong and help yer ma!”
Such was usually King Dad’s
Response to our wants.
So that’s how my social life went;
That’s how my lonely youth was spent.
But I’m glad Ma
Our hearing parental
Discontent or argument.
* See you in the next blog.
Thanks for visiting!
~ Stephany Spencer-LeBaron
(Continued August 15, 2019: “Pt 38-B: Esther LeBaron & Floyd Spencer: Fights, Plights, and Physical Punishment”)