The Answer Man
July 3, 2011, 7:24 am
Filed under: July 2011

July 3, 2011

     Everybody say cheese…….. “Why Pa-Pa?” 
     My grandchildren ask lots of questions. They are like newspaper people. They need the who, what, when, and why for everything. I patiently answer as well as I can. Sometimes the questions come faster than I can answer them, but I usually keep up pretty well.
     I have been lucky enough that my wife shares her family with me. I have sons, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that have adopted me. Many of them don’t know any other Pa-Pa but me. I am proud to have that distinction in their lives. I too share my children from another marriage with her. Together we have a vast, diverse and loving brood. It is good for all of us.
     I became a Pa-Pa at a young age and tried to live up to the expectations of inquiring minds. I taught my grandchildren a lot of things. They in turn taught me. I am now busy with the youngest in our brood and expect more before too long… hint, hint 😮  We still have one son to go… and I really like this job!
     I teach about farming and the out-of-doors. I answer questions about fish, grass and trees. I have been  asked about babies, but the farm has a way to show and tell that lesson. It also follows up with the responsibility that goes with a baby. Babies teach kindness, gentleness and patience along with caring.
     I have a granddaughter in her early twenties. She is a cute little thing who is finding her way in the world. She was a yak head when she was little. Her questions came at a rapid fire pace and she demanded answers. You couldn’t fool her too often, but every once in a while I could pull the wool over her eyes. She has chosen teaching as a profession. I think she will be paid back for all the grilling she gave me by some relentless teenagers very soon 😮
     The ground work my granddaughter laid, is coming in very handy as once again a little lady demands answers from me. It is good to have been pre-trained, idolized and loved by that sweet girl who is now all grown up.
     I am the answer man. I don’t always say what people want to hear, but I will give them the truth. I shield little ones from hurt when I can. I soften the blows for others when necessary, but I am brutally honest when needed. I think people appreciate the truth, although sometimes it takes a day or two to believe it.
     I don’t have all the answers. I searched for the end result more than once and came up empty. Why .. is a hard question to answer sometimes. I guess the right thing to do is to motivate yourself to find the way when no way exists. Realize that we are not supposed to know everything. Find peace and security by letting go.
     I love all my children. The hardest part of rasing them, is letting go. You have to step back and let them struggle a bit to find the answers for themselves. Help them yes, but don’t smother them. Watch from afar to ensure they are safe, like you did when they went off to school that first day. Let them fall, but don’t let them hit bottom too hard. Be there when needed as a sounding board and guide them gently with your experiences. They will find strength in themselves, because you helped them find the answers… just as you did when the rapid fire questions were so overwhelming not long ago.
     I am here for you gang, now and forever. I know some of my words will be with you all the days of your life. I hope I have answered the questions, solved the mysteries and provided guidance when you needed it. If I fell short, remember I am just a man … even if I am the answer man…. For the record, I look forward to your next questions so don’t quit asking  😮

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