Chastise

Chastise: (v) to rebuke or reprimand severely.

I was thoroughly convinced that my kids were going to remember their childhood by benchmarking the exciting trips, opportunities or gifts I gave them.

But as I sit around with them now, at holidays, and they feel free to open up about their journeys of being my offspring, rarely do they refer
to a camping trip or a special dinner at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

All of them recount the moments when their errors were brought to the forefront, and it was commanded of me, as their parent, to chastise. Sometimes they do object to the severity of my application, but mostly they are extraordinarily grateful that I was able to muster the backbone to stand up against trends of the time and try to tell them the truth to the best of my ability.

It’s actually a very moving experience, when I realize they understand that it is required to chastise those you love.

So even though I have no squabble with the common thought that love, exhortation, hugs, kisses and praise are very important parts of a child’s security, I also know that there comes a moment when time stands still–and it is the mission of the parent to stop the progression of ignorance, and encourage a better solution.

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Abrazos

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abrazo: (n.): an embrace.

Yeah, but what KIND of embrace?

In all my years of traveling on the road, I have discovered that there are basically four types of hugs. (Well, five if you want to count the one you do in bed with the person you love to generate romance.)

But let us say four types of hugs that are permitted fully clothed in public:

The first one is the quick embrace, placing hands around the neck, careful that torsos don’t meet. This is normally  practiced in Hollywood, church circles and at family reunions where adolescents are accosted by grandmas.

Then there is the show of affection where someone comes up from the rear and hugs your back–usually fairly quickly as a means of encouragement when you’re heading into the dentist’s office, getting ready to take a test, or are on your way to get your income taxes done.

The third hug is when someone holds their arms out like a great Russian, Jewish mother and welcomes you in for a full body encounter. Of course, the difficulty with this one is that once interlocked,  one has to figure out how long to hold it–just short of ridiculous, but beyond nervous. After all, the first one to release is the wimp.

And finally, the other hug that I became familiar with by participating in sports is what you might refer to as the manly chest bump. It is the acceptable form of masculine communication of affection without communicating ANY notion of homosexual tendencies. It’s more like “pecs meeting pecs,” with some pounding on the back by hands quickly releasing, ending in some sort of ridiculous high-five.

So of the particular ways of connecting that are available, obviously, the bedroom intertwining is the most pleasant.

I guess when you get a word like abrazos–with the ambiguous definition of “an embrace”–you have to establish the quality of the embrace and the style–by how much you would elongate the vowels in the word.

For instance, it could be an “abrazos.” Short, brief antiseptic.

Or it could be an “abra-z-o-o-s.” We’re gettin’ warmer.

Or finally, it could be an “a-bra-a-a-z-o-o-os.” Boom. Touchdown.

I like hugs. I don’t particularly like it, however,  when people inform me BEFORE they hug me that they are a “hugging person.” It takes away some of the spontaneity and specialness of being hugged. Yeah, it’s kind of a Baskin Robbins embracing philosophy: “Now serving #84.”

But as analytical and critical as you may want to get about two people joining their bodies in closeness, any embrace is a lot better than standing at a distance … and judging each other.