27 May 2019

Bess Tuggle's Memoirs of Surviving Children: Reading & Payback

Thing 1, my oldest child, was abused.  I abused him from the day he was born.

I read to him.  If he was in my lap or nursing, I read aloud to him.  I –love- to read, and the first things I read to him came from National Geographic and Stephen King.  That has come back to haunt me on occasion, but I can’t say I’d change a thing.

Once he got old enough to semi-understand the words coming from my mouth I moved on to Dr. Seuss.  Still, he cut his teeth on National Geographic and Stephen King.

His brothers’ compounded the problem and were abused accordingly.  Night time stories were part of our evening ritual, and I was one of those strict moms that believed in regular bedtimes.  Bedtime was 7:30 p.m. for elementary aged children, 8:30 for middle school and 9:30 for high school.  That’s probably one of the reasons I still have a little sanity left intact.  After they got into middle and high school they were too old for Dr. Seuss, but I’d give them thirty minutes of reading time before lights out.

Once they were old enough to pick their own reading material, I didn’t give them free reign to my library.  I will always have a bad habit of leaving newspapers and magazines all over the house, but there are a couple books on my shelf that I –still- won’t loan them.  The boys are all twenty-something year old adults.  There are also some things a mom just can’t share with a son.  Reminds me of when my little sister took my grandmother to see Dolly Parton’s movie “Best Little Whore House in Texas.”  Neither knew what they were going to see, both enjoyed the movie/love story, and both will still blush if you mention it when they’re in the same room.

As a Stephen King fan, I do have to admit I took great pleasure in embarrassing my eldest when he was in his teens.  He did it to me on a regular basis, so I figured turn about was fair play.  King published short stories once or twice a year in Playboy.  Yes, Playboy – and you couldn’t get those stories anywhere else.  As an avid fan, I had to have them.

I also made sure, each and every time I bought a Playboy, that Thing 1 was with me.

Imagine the embarrassment of a teenage son standing next his mother while she buys a Playboy magazine.  

I really, -really- just bought them for the King stories, and sometimes payback can be a –really- wonderful thing.  

A jack of all trades, Ms. Tuggle has been a Covington resident since the late 70’s. She's been a K-Mart cashier, cabinet builder, vet tech, office manager for a beef cattle ranch and water well company (where she was able to hold benefits for D.A.R.E. and Scouts), a court reporter, business manager, assistant at a private investigation firm, legal assistant, convenience store clerk, landscaper and elementary school substitute teacher.  Her greatest pleasure is being a wife, mother and grandmother.  Her stories are all real, and all names will be withheld to protect the innocent, and also maybe the guilty, depending on the crime & the Statute of Limitations.  


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