Questions Fathers Hate To Answer

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsbur...

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to a game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I confronted the future, past and present but I don’t know how well I did. Not sure that it matters, but for some reason I keep thinking about it. More on this in a moment.

One of the boys and I had a conversation earlier this week about whether I could tackle Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben is the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers and his name suits him.

He is about 6’5 and they say he weighs about 241 or so. Well, he has a chunk of height on me and though I weigh more than 200 I bet he is an honest 241. We’ll ignore the fact that he is a professional athlete who has been playing a sport in which men who are bigger and stronger than I am have trouble catching him.

It is not because he is fast, it is because he is elusive. But I still maintain I can take him down. My buddy isn’t so certain. He says that he is certain most places I go I am among the strongest men there, but Big Ben isn’t your average guy.

I’ll concede it might be difficult and that I may need a good massage afterwards, but I can 241 isn’t beyond my ability. I can still throw around a lot of weight and even if he drags me a dozen yard I will take him down. It would probably be easier than the conversations I had today.

Dads and Daughters

My daughter is a precocious 8 year-old girl who is fearless, smart and determined. She is a force of nature and I love her for all of these things and more.

She is also like me and prone to asking/saying things that are designed to get a reaction. Today she hit me with a bunch that caught me off guard. I admit to not having thought much about them because they were things women know in a way that men simply can’t.

“Dad, do you know what a period is? Can I get it at 8 and what will happen if you are around and not mom?” “Will I die if I bleed too much and if mom is not around how will we handle this?”

Yep, those questions came fast and furious and I was semi-speechless. She told me one of the girls in her class brought “periods” up and several of them discussed it at recess. I don’t know what prompted this, can’t say whether someone’s mother or older sister talked about it and that is why it came up. I just know I wasn’t prepared at all.

I was happy she felt comfortable asking me about it but I sort of punted. I told her I knew what they were and what to do. I said I didn’t think she had to worry about it happening any time soon and that she should talk to mom about it.

The funny thing to me is I grew up with 2,398,281 sisters and I couldn’t tell you when they first got theirs, haven’t a clue. Don’t know that it is important, but.

And Then Came The Son

Later on I sat down with my son and asked about his day. He told me about he bombed a test and explained how the teacher had them take it while they were sitting outside waiting to see the Endeavor fly over head.

I told him not to worry and said it happens. When he asked if it ever happened to me I said yes. That prompted the follow up questions of when, why and how and because I wasn’t thinking I answered in more detail than I should have.

Her name was Kathy and she sat across from me in Chemistry.  It was Spring. She had on black shorts and this top that was modest when she sat up, but when she leaned over to write it was…less so.

I got lost staring at her. It didn’t help that I had a crush on her any more than it did to see her wearing something that gave me all sorts of ideas.

Actually things were ok with my conversation with my son until I used those four words, “all sorts of ideas.”

That was enough to make him want to know what sorts of ideas I had. I was cautious in my response because he really doesn’t need nor want too many details. Even if he wasn’t short of 12 he doesn’t need to know, but I owed him an answer.

Again I was happy to see he is comfortable asking me these questions, but it was a different sort of conversation than I remember having with my dad. When he asked me what sort of things men like to with women besides kissing I told him that one day when he was married he would find out.

And then he asked me if that means he has to wait. Something tells me he and the boys are having some conversations too.

BTW, he thinks I can tackle Big Ben and every other quarterback in the league. Remind me to tell him how smart he is.

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