My mom used to get on me for being a little too blunt at times. When I was little I very matter of factly asked a woman (much to my mothers horror) "are you pregnant or are you just fat?" the woman answered... She wasn't pregnant... And I didn't let it go (of coarse not) "is your husband fat too?" (nothing like a pre- schooler reminding you of your current health situation at a grocery store to help you make purchasing decisions). Well, she paused and she actually chuckled, meanwhile my mother had now become one with the shopping cart in hopes she would not become a causality in one of my latest outburst. As the woman started to answer, (of course my mother was apologising, the woman declared that yes in fact he was. (Gee surprise- not). To which (of coarse- you didn't think it ended there) - I declared "neat- match- match!" I was such a straight forward call it like it is kid!
Now some people would have scooped up their kid and never let that conversation blossom into the diabetic revelation that it did. But the great thing about my Mom is she always let me see things through- barring blowing up the house.
I am sure, without a doubt, she learned that from her Dad. Grandpa Sam never let me blow up the garage or destroy the basement, but he let me make mistakes. Then he'd calmly walk me through the resolution. Dropping a set of wrenches once, while helping him work on a car became a lesson on measurements. They all had to go back, in order. He didn't raise his voice, he just looked down and said... "Well, I didn't think you needed to know where all the wrenches went, but now is as good time as any." While putting them away he would remark at what a fine job I was doing. His little whistle and shuffle back to his work station or the car are some of my favorite sounds. He'd comment on the importance of certain things and tell me how to get out of others....
Yep, saying it like it is is something you learn. But you also learn when to hold your tongue, how to be patient, and how to be caring. One of my hopes in life is that I am passing on that calm to my kids. His patients and ability to say it like it is without harming of others (maybe I am still working on that). Teaching moments are all around us and I hope I capture them with the sheer awesomeness my Grandpa did!
I miss you every day Grandpa- just saying it like it is!