Thing#1 asks his Papa a few questions today and my dad says, “one day he’d sit down and tell him all about it..” As this kinda perplexed my son as to why not now? My Daddy began to tell him all about it right then. I just sat listening to my Dad tell Thing #1 about family, what family means, and exactly why he was telling him. My mom and I looked at each other more than once in this discussion, just acknowledging to each other and to my son the truth my Dad was speaking. When my Dad was done talking, I then asked my son one simple question, “Now do you understand exactly why I am the way I am?” I have heard that story now a few times in my life. The last time was almost six years ago in our driveway 1000 miles from where I stand today when my Dad gave his facts of life the way he saw it and expected it to be to Troy, which Troy found absolutely reasonable as he shook my daddy’s hand that day.
I’ve told my kids these things as well, however, when it’s spoken by my Dad, that makes this, well I don’t quite have a word for it, when my Dad speaks, we listen. What he says just IS, like family law or something. Sounds extreme, well it is. Family is well defined, expectations of everyone, respect for everyone, it’s a package deal, it is how I was raised so I find none of it oddball at all. I know that when Troy’s father has spoken to just me numerous times or even to my kids, we all gave undivided attention and full respect to the conversations because that’s exactly what I was taught to do and the moment when you see their words true, that much more respect is given. None of this is unheard of. Now, if someone starts telling you bat shit crazy, twisted ideas of family, well, that is a different story, we all will excuse ourselves from that person forever. By no means am I Italian or related to the Gotti family, however, family is everything to ours and my dad just happens to be a helluva lot like Tony Soprano when dealing with outside sources as they pertain to his family and a few choice friends; protective, serious, honest and loyal. He can and will hit the ground running if he is crossed, and so will each of his children and also the love of his life, my own Momma.
When it comes right down to the heart of the matter, Thing#1 has some pretty fabulous men around him as roll models. Men of character with heart and soul, who love fiercly and are not afraid to show their love; who protect instinctively they are not forced, and they do not attach strings to their love because it is unconditional. They are certainly not afraid of the truth and always speak it and expect you to so the same; loyalty runs deep, it’s a part of them that is not questioned, it is in their blood so you do not have doubt because it’s in yours as well. They are so very easily trusted and respected because that is exactly how they treat you, they are open and extremely honest, if you are in need of hearing the truth, well, hold up because they will give it and expect you to do the same.
This is just the men of my family. As I decide to take on the ladies here and there, you will and perhaps have already seen that we are all that and a bag of chips and not plain old tater chips either! Us ladies be those Spicy Sriracha, habanero tater chips dashed with ghost pepper flakes; a force to be reckoned with, a very fine hot mess that if you are extremely lucky, it only takes two hands to handle each of us. Family is our everything, we stand stronger than the mafia boss because we give the mafia boss his strength. Overstepping boundaries may not fair any person well, tangoing with any of us, well it’s just not one of those fabulous ideas one could have. “Forgive and forget” turns into “move along, but remember to not trust that one.” The one single person that could bring Tony Soprano down was his wife, Carmella.