Dylan James Wood is my son.
Those that know him know that he is like a giant bear: large and fuzzy, hands as big as grizzly paws.
He stands about six-foot-one and even on my BEST day I can no longer take him.
Well actually, I might get away with running him over in the mini-van but he’s quick for a big guy so I would have to catch him by surprise which… is exactly what I did the day I slapped the holy shit out of him.
Now, feel free to judge, I really don’t care.
If I want to slap the shit out of my 22-year-old, 250 pound bubba of a baby, who is completely out of line with his mother then I will damn well do it.
I don’t believe in the “no beating” policy.
To quote M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs: “Tell Graham to swing away.”
I like to live by the laws of nature: swift, painful, parental punishments.
And probably right now, someone out there is mumbling, “I hope one day he hits her back. Abusive old bitch.”
And I would say to you: he better start running after he takes a swing.
It would be a good show though and actually it was.
I don’t know what started the incident.
Who knows how he incited me into violence but he did.
We were in the middle of the kitchen, standing toe-to-toe.
I was screeching at him about something that I deemed incredibly important at the time, when he mouthed off and I went to slap him.
I watched as his giant paw of a hand reached out and grabbed my wrist.
My arm stopped mid-swing as my face registered shock.
I looked up at him, this furry Baby Huey of a man, and stared, stunned that he quit my vigilantly justice with one grasp.
I actually heard the sound track from Clint Eastwood’s, A Few Dollars More, reverberate inside of my head as I raised my other hand, furious in my inability to control him, and took another swing.
No way in hell was “Indio” gonna get the better of Clint aka “Monco” I was gonna wind this little jackass’s pocket watch and good.
I swung at him with all my might and watched as he easily bested my shot and now had both of my wrists pinned within the grip of just one of his giant hands.
I was beyond furious: I was enraged.
It was as if I lost my mind: I literally could not control myself. I bent towards him and tried to bite him repeatedly.
He laughed as he used his strength to manipulate me into various positions by changing the degree of bend on my trapped wrists.
I began to growl and snarl like a wild animal as I kicked at him, all the while, Dylan laughing at my idiocy and the fact that I no longer had any control over him.
I exhausted myself with the effort and like Santiago in the, Old Man and the Sea, crumpled to the floor, worn and beaten, yet still refusing to admit defeat.
“You promise not to hit me if I let you go?” Dylan said, lauding his youth and new found bravery and power over me.
I said nothing.
I glared at him.
A beast ready to snap.
I watched as he walked towards the backdoor, before I shouted, “You will pay for this!”
He chortled with glee as he kicked open the door, kicked it closed behind him, and strutted off to the garage, whistling a little tune of satisfaction that soon faded off into the distance.
That little shit. I thought to myself. I am going to make that mother fucker pay.
And as I sat on the dirty linoleum floor, I quieted my mind and came up with a plan.
A three day plan.
I would lead him to believe I had forgotten all about the upsetting incident.
I would act “as if” and bide my time until I could slap that little bastard but good.
I regained my footing and stood tall; I had lost the first battle but I was certain that I would win this war.
The next few days passed by just as I expected:
Dylan flinched each time I walked by him: sure that I was about to retaliate at any moment positive that I had not given up within the first 24 hours.
I ignored him… busied myself with the tasks at hand.
48 hours later, he was eying me pensively from the corner of the living room: trying to figure out if I had truly forgotten the incident or if this was some type of new defensive tactic.
I folded laundry and once again pretended I hadn’t even noticed him in the room.
He fell for the ploy.
By the third day, I was beyond excited. I couldn’t wait to get home from school and make my son pay.
My anticipation was rabid by the time I pulled up to the curb.
I could hardly contain myself as I ran up the porch and opened the front door.
There he was.
My baby Sasquatch.
My furry Yeti.
He was in the kitchen, large bowl of cereal cupped in one hand, spoon midway to his mouth, crumbs of a cheerio hanging tentatively off of his beard.
“Hey mom,” he said.
His sweetest voice.
His best cherubic face.
But I did not falter in my anger: revenge had gotten the better of me and my “higher spiritual self” had exited our home days ago.
I laid on like I have never laid on before.
My slap hit his chubby pink cheek so hard that his whole giant meat pie of a head sharply snapped at an angle before his eyes rolled back and his mouth fell open.
But still my blow barely made a dent of pain.
He centered his head, and looked at me: his bowl still set neatly in his hand, his spoon still resting mid-air, shocked but for a moment, before he laughed, this beautiful genuine boy of a laugh, and then said, “Good one” as he walked past me and climbed the stairs to his bedroom.
I stood in the kitchen and watched as his giant Fred Flintstone feet disappeared up the stairs.
The moment was bitter sweet.
I felt the relief, the joy of revenge washing over me, the sense that all was right in my world and then the horrible realization that my son was now completely immune to any physical punishment I would ever try to dispense in the future.
Suddenly, I felt old, truly old, until I heard from the top of the stairs, “Damn mom, that really hurt.”
And I smiled, knowing that my son was indeed a good man, I had raised him well.
I knew he wasn’t hurt at all, he was letting me “save face” unwilling to swing away at his mother’s pride.