This happened a few years ago... (2007)
We live in a nice little neighborhood, not that close to the beach, but the ocean is easily seen. Homes here, no apts, and the homes are mostly all owned, not rented, and many of our neighbors are naturalized Americans, from many places in the Pacific rim. Good hard working folks, the type my folks would have been at home with.
Our next door neighbors are an extended Filipino family and they have a HUGE beautiful home. The couple close to our age got over here first, and then one by one, sisters, her parents, and son's in laws all came over and moved in. The adults all go to work, the older kids go to school during the year, and the grandparents, watch the little ones and the older ones after school.
The kids are all pretty good kids, on the whole, more like the kids when I was a kid, not mini adults, and they are expected to help around the house, and with chores, and with the family business's.
Well, about a week ago, one of the girls, a real little cutie, about 13, got herself in trouble. Now,I know the girl, and while normally pretty good, well, she is 13. I was out back doing my thing in the yard ( and no, this wasn't the lawnmower incident, thank you very much...) when I heard Lianna, miss 13, come out mumbling like teens do when they have to do something they don't like.
She wandered over to the garden, and started VERY half heartedly pulling at the weeds. Now, THIS is a garden! Like many of the immigrant families, they see NO reason to let all that backyard go to waste raising grass, and almost the entire yard was a huge beautiful garden ( I like them, just don't like to work in them, thank you....) with all manner of fruits and veggies and melons... She works, maybe ten minutes, tops, and then takes a break and finds some shade, and gets out her walkman, and lays down.
About 30 minutes later, her grandmother comes out, finds her, and asks her (after looking in the garden) if she was done yet... Lianna tells her, with a bit of an attitude, that it was hot,and she was just taking a little break. Grandmother goes back inside. About 20 minutes later, her grandmother comes back out, and checks on her again, still on the ground listening to music. Grandmother sees me, and waves, and then calls to Lianna, and tells her to come over, she wants to talk to her.
Lianna does one of those teen 'huffs', like the whole world is against her, and she just says 'K, but then still doesn't move. Grandmother asks again. Firmer. Lianna huffs again, and this time , with Major attitude, even laying down, says,"Geez Grandmother, try wait!"
Now, over here in Hawaii, where Lianna had been born and raised, a lot of the people, the kids especially, besides speaking what is known as 'standard' english, also speak pidgin english, a hodgepodge of words and phrases for many languages and cultures,as well as english words in combinations that have certain special meanings. Like, 'try'. See, a more polite way, would have been for her to say, please wait. The rudest, just a "wait!" Try wait was only Marginaly better than just wait, and was NOT the way kids were supposed to address their elders.
That was it for grandmother, like THAT she was over there, those headphones were on the ground, she had her ear, and Lianna was magically off the ground, and was just that fast taken over to a bench outside!
Now, the funny thing about this is the difference in sizes. Grandmother was born and raised in the rural Phillipines, and like many women from there, is tiny. I mean Tiny! Maybe 4'10, if that. She would have made my Irish grandmother look big! No idea how old she is, anywheres for mid 50's to to late 60's. With the wiry muscles that come from decades of hard physical work. And little Lianna, having benefit of better nutrition, even at 13 was several inches, and maybe 10 lbs heavier than her grandmother, but she never had a chance. Her grandmother sat down, yanked her grand daughter over her lap, took off her slipper (a flip flop or thong sandal to the rest of you...) and proceeded to burn miss Lianna's butt but good, lecturing in a way that would have done my mother, or aunts, or grandmothers proud!
She was one of those spankers who spanked during the lecture, with the spanks emphasing certain key points, words, or syllables...
The gist of the lecture was how she was Tired of how Spoiled her Favorite Granddaughter had Become! How Disrespectful, How Lazy, How Ungrateful! How she didn't Apreciate how HARD her Family Worked to Give her a BETTER life then THEY had HAD and that it was time she Grew up and started accepting some Responsibity and started acting More Mature!
This went on for a while, and I don't think Lianna felt very mature at the moment, she was crying and doing the whole I'm sorry bit, with all the usual touches. Her grandmother spanked her over her light nylon shorts, but they had sorta rode up, so a LOT of her sit spot was bare, and grandmother wasn't shy about coloring it red! Finally, assured that the attitude attack had passed, she let her up, took her by the ear, and put her back in the garden, and told her to finish her chores, now! And any more problems out of her and grandmother would talk to her father when he came home!
Lianna was sniffling and crying yet, but even with one hand rubbing her bottom, she was still getting way more work done than she had been doing, and she kept right at it, let me tell you!
Grandmother came over, and said hi to me, and said something to the effect of kids today. I laughed, and told her I had had to learn the same lesson a few times myself about family and chores when I was Lianna's age. Grandmother made an approving noise, and said that is why I turned out okay....
And that was that.
Spanko Brunch 2.0 #199
14 hours ago