Thursday, 7 July 2011

Fear, Da, Love, D'Island.

As a kid, growing up in d'island, not the most salubrious area in the city, my biggest fear was not the 'big boys' who hung out on every corner, it was not the gangs who would stop you and take whatever pennies you had in your pocket. It wasn't even the Christian Brothers with their leather straps and their haunty eyes. It wasn't even the fear of Father xxx in the confessional box of a Friday and telling him of the terrible sin I had been doing with myself!
No, my biggest fear was of the Ma telling the Da of my misbehaviour!
Not that the Da was goin' to punish us, for he never would.
It was just for the look of disappointment in his face.
It killed me.
I would rather he gave me a slap.
But he never did slap any of his kids.
Except for his firstborn, Helen.
And that is the one single thing he MOST regretted in his life.
He told the story many times, to all of us as we grew up, that the most guilt he had ever felt was hitting his own child in a moment of anger. It was just the one time, but he so regretted it, and he told us of the many hours he cried because of it.
My dear departed sister never remembered the incident, but Da always did.
And he never did physically punish any of us. Ever.
And that is why my biggest fear was always of my Ma telling us that she would tell Da if we had been 'bold'!
Not because we thought he would punish us physically,
But because of the look of disappointment in his face.
That hurt so much more than a slap.
And that's why we all tried so hard to never see that look.
And it worked.
Miss you Da.


  1. That's the toughest thing, isn't it... to know that you disappoint someone you love so much. You're right. A slap would have hurt so much less. Big hugs, Map... I know you're missing your Da and Helen. xoxoxo

  2. you have my heart, bubba. xoxoxoxox

  3. Pon & sav; Thanks for the hugs & Heart but I'm not sad or down ladies, quite the opposite at the moment actually. Just recalling a feeling, a time.

    Have a great weekend! :¬)


  4. That's something we have in common. If I got the look from Dad I would be distraught. Even as a young married woman.

  5. Bless me faither for I have sinned. It has been thirty five years since my last confession. Faither, I did a terrible terrible thing the day to an oul friend of mine from Glasgow. He was a bit on the oul drunk side after working hard over here in the fine county of Louth for nearly a week, so I took him over some sandwiches and we broke the holy bread in a quiet bar away out of the terrible rain. While he was well and truly three sheets to the wind I convinced him that it was his turn to buy the drinks. But faither, that's not the worst of it. I convinced him THREE times, and the poor oul sowl ended up supplying half the pub with free drinks. The thing is faither, poor oul Jimmy is now lost, wandering the city penniless and broke all because I took advantage of his Glaswegian upbringing. I can hardly sleep with the worry of it all, plus the fact that I know that when the eejit finally wakes up, probably in a train carriage going to Wexford, that he is going to be a bit on the oul mad side with me.

    Faither, is it possible I stay at your place for a few days until the big Jimmy fella calms down? Tanx faither, shall I be getting on with the saying of the three 'Our Fathers' and three 'Hail Marys' now?

    For the love of God, was that someone banging on the door?

  6. hahahaha! Either you better run fast... or you better pony up to the bar for the next many rounds of drink!

  7. Yikes! The pain of my childhood was to have a parent look at me and sigh quietly, "I am SO disappointed in you."

    A twisting knife to the heart would've hurt less. At least to me. The other two siblings, not so much. :)

    Glad you had the kind of Da you can recall both with respect and love. x

  8. My Da looked right through me like I was a wisp of steam that was in his way. I would have almost welcomed a look of disappointment.

    By the way, Dogs in the Traffic is in heavy rotation this summer. I did a little digging and did you know they're playing a reunion show in December?

  9. I was just not seen.
    Disappointment would have meant acknowledging me.

    I'm not sure if 'Our Fathers' or 'Hail Mary's' will save you from the wrath of Jimmy!
    I suggest many rounds at the nearest pub or several bottles of fine single malt. lol

  10. I've never raised my hand to my kids, and they've turned into good kids. Those who think you have to spank or thrash your children to instil discipline and respect are, quite simply, wrong. All it does it teach them that it's acceptable to use violence to get your way. Your father was right.

  11. Pat; Terrible wasn't it? Da was such a gentleman it hurt me if I felt I had hurt him in any way. :¬)

    mapstew; I is having ze doppleganger! :¬)

  12. Pon; I have been 'hacked' by a feckin' bastard! :¬)


    hope; Such a quiet, lovely man. So many things I never got to say to him, things we never shared. :¬)


  13. UB; That must have been downright terrible.

    I'm glad you like the album. (You DO know you now have one of my most treasured possessions in your hands?) :¬)

    BlazngScarlet; Some parents can be so bad. I see you! :¬)

  14. Kim; I would never hit a child, I just don't understand how any adult could. Just don't. I have seen parents hit kids and it's one of the few things that makes my blood boil with rage!

  15. That hacker has a very familiar style... ;-)

  16. "All it does it teach them that it's acceptable to use violence to get your way."

    Pardon me while I once more laugh out loud at the hypocrisy of the English. What a load of pish.

    I have five sons, six if you include the young fella who we took in many years ago fae his abusive faither, an English guy so, he liked to molest rather than beat his boy. Another true Englishman who enjoyed spanking games it would seem.

    Let's no pretend here ok? I speak my mind and if people don't like it then too bad, but I always think before I speak! I clipped many an ear of my own boys when they needed it growing up. So far, all have morals and respect, not one of them has ever been in trouble, and they all play a part in running the family business. So much for them finding violence acceptable eh?

    As for my da, well, he raised his voice to me and my nine siblings, but he hardly raised his hand to any of us. I embraced violence with a passion. I make no secret of my past. Map knows my true identity, I was a real bastard.

    It kind of blows the "All it does it teach them..." theory right out the windie, would you not agree?

    If the particular person I have quoted here had used the words 'In my opinion' before his churlish, self-righteous statement it might not have offended as many people, and believe me there are a few who disliked the words as they have been written, as it has.

  17. my dear map - i always so love hearing the stories of your FAM - and am so glad that you share them with us - would that i had such stories and i would share them as well - but on another note, i'm just wondering how your three our faithers and hail marys are working for you now with the passing of a little time since your prank on your bestest pal there? there's commotion noise all the way 'cross the big pond - have mercy!

  18. I wish ma maw wid've just gied me a look, instead o slapping me in the coupon every time I played up (which wis alot) maybe this explains a lot!!

  19. ok - so i just plead density in the middle of the night - at least in terms of what i read here and/or obviously what i don't read and/or don't get if i do read it - hacking and all in this case - which leaves me a bit blush-cheeked in terms of my hail marys response above and the shenanigans of the badboy hisself! and, since i am unaccustomed to being so swiftly/deftly taken in, praise faither and holy marys both for i am about to sin............

    ya'll have a great SUNday - it's brilliant here!

  20. I side with Jimmy on this one. My mom gave me some good cracks back in the day and the old man had a thousand yard stare that made you want to squirm out of your skin and get the hell out of town, that said i haven't had to cuff the boyos just yet, don't know if i would but i understand it's place, in H'america we've become such a coddling culture it's damn joke, i didn't get put in "time-out" i got in fucking trouble and had to deal with the consequences of my actions, but hell this debate could go on all day, people shouldn't abuse their kids in anyway, hell the Catlick church will tell you that, but i learned quite well from my mother's well timed cuffs...

    and as for teaching kids that violence is a way to get what you want, to grab power or authority, all they have to do is watch the news or read the paper to learn that, unfortunately it's how the world tends to work.

  21. Looks like your FOLLOWERS have returned!