He’s back! Mr. Andi has returned for another post – this time it’s about how his life is like that of the stars of A&E’s hit series, Duck Dynasty. And no, this picture doesn’t have much at all to do with the subject matter, but it’s a photo of Mr. Andi (with his two yard helpers) so I put it in. 🙂
Duck Dynasty is probably my favorite show of all time.
The reason? I can relate. I’m not normally a fan of reality shows but I am of this one. Everyone says “that’s just like my family”, and they probably think that whether their family members think so or not. Heck, they might not have even consulted them about it. But after viewing the first few episodes, my uncle called me to say “That’s us!!” – I was already thinking it. We even call him Jack, among other things, and we have the same religious background and values as the Robertson clan. Many folks say that Duck Dynasty is contrived. I disagree. We think that they put them in certain situations and sit back and wait to see what happens.
Again, I can relate.
Duck Dynasty emulates my family in a way that I could never have imagined. My maternal grandmother was one of thirteen children (ironic since Nathan and I – as well as the aforementioned uncle – were all born on the 13th) and eight of those were boys. You can imagine the chaos that would accompany thirteen kids with eight boys in the mix. My favorite uncle is the one that knows he is the Uncle Si of our family and he grew up in that chaos. We have had so many adventures and misadventures together and people love to sit around and hear the stories.
It’s enough to write a memoir. But, it all really happened.
Growing up in my formative years with this man as my idol, I learned to go with the flow. Stuff is going to happen…deal with it. From wrecked cars, to burns from pyrotechnics, to boating woes, to sleeping in snow without a tent because you decided to rough it, it happens and you deal with it. He’s still my idol although I am realizing that had we invented something unique and sold it, we might also have a TV show. Another thing we have in common with the Duck Dynasty crowd, if you listen to us, is that you might assume we are ignorant southern rednecks. But the mix includes successful doctors, engineers, architects, college professors, insurance owners and even some farmers. None of them are ignorant.
Recently one of my first cousins got married in Atlanta, which is about a six-hour drive from Mayberry. I RSVP’d yes, I would come, but Andi and the kids were unable to attend with me. With a week to go, Andi asked me where I would spend the night. I responded “I don’t know, I’ll figure it out” She can’t understand how someone can think like that. I can’t understand scripting everything out. In the end, I drove about halfway back, stopped in Auburn, and slept in the National Forest in a sleeping bag, under the stars, without a tent. When daylight broke, I got up and drove home.
No big deal…to me.
Being a father of special needs kids is a lot like the Duck Dynasty life. You get thrust into situations and you know what? You deal with it. You make it up as you go along. You don’t have much choice. You were not asking for what came your way, it just happened. My profession is a lot like that when things go wrong. How do you handle a hurricane and the power goes out? A tornado? There’s no script, you just make it up as you go along, because no two are the same. The people that are good at it will succeed. How will I deal with a daughter with CP and a son with Down Syndrome? I don’t know. I’ll get back to you.