Good Advice Sweetened

December 11, 2001

Here is a cover letter I wrote to a departing co-worker, enclosing as a farewell gift a copy of Plain Talk about Spanking and a big bar of Ghirardelli chocolate. My conscience was pricking me that I had been silent when I heard her joke about how her disabled child had asked her why he gets spanked more than the others. Please withhold my name.

Dear _______ ,

You have been such a joy to work with. From the outside looking in, you have seemed like the eye of the hurricane: the calm, collected, and competent center when all is swirling chaos around you. Your loving, compassionate heart and humor have brightened whatever room you enter. I was shaken to my boots when I learned you were leaving, and I know I shall sorely miss you. I trust, though, that all change is for learning, so we will learn to live and go on! I hope I do not give offense by sharing this booklet with you. A casual, humorous anecdote you told once about spanking has stayed with me and resounded inside me. I hope whenever you raise your hand to strike your child that you will think of me loving you and whispering in your ear, "There is another way." You may call me at any time of day or night if you need support to find a different way to set limits and maintain your authority. Those little ones closest to your loving heart are also closest to your anger, and they need your calm center in the stormy times. I struggle with this as well. I know from my experience, as a child who was spanked until I was big enough to fight back, what a challenge it is to do it differently. I have made that commitment; I hope you will too. Love will find a way!

With love and respect, and chocolate. Blessings,

(name withheld)

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