He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland
Kyle and his pappy. What else can I say? They are like two peas in a pod. Without question, Kyle looks up to his pappy, and my dad shares the same admiration for Kyle. They definitely have a unique bond, its strong and very reminiscent of the relationship between Ryan and dad, but is truly more like my pappy and Ryan. It must be the grandfather, grandson combination.
Ryan and dad were tight, both having such a passion for hunting and fishing. Now don’t get me wrong they were typical father and son, but really pretty close. I guess it helped that they spent hours in the woods together on hunting trips, countless fishing opportunities, and too much time in the garage working on cars to have been anything other. But before Ryan really truly got into any of these, he had a tight bond with our pappy, my dad’s dad.
Ryan and my pap’s relationship, very much resembled Kyle and my dad’s. Ryan and Kyle are both lifesavers, whether they knew it or not. After my pap had his second leg amputated, Ryan stayed with him, a lot. After my brother passed away suddenly, Kyle stayed with us, a lot. My pappy died when Ryan was in the third grade, so our interaction with him stopped at a young age, but thankfully Kyle and dad are still going strong. Both boys helped with the healing process. After all, who can stay depressed or upset or even stationary with a little man running around. Not in our family! Both Ryan and Kyle indirectly helped my pap and my dad, respectively, carry on through horrible situations. They were both air to our lungs, both gifts from God to help us survive. Kyle was, and continues to be a reminder of Ryan and what a special gift children are. I guess that holds true, not just for dad but for the family as a whole.
Well, I think you get the comparison between Ryan and his pap and Kyle and his pap. Like anyone in the Piper family, they hunt and fish. Yep, dad has already taken Kyle two years in a row for mentor hunting. The second year, bringing home a deer. Dad couldn’t have been more proud, just as he was with all us.
Kyle does like to deer hunt, but maybe doesn’t carry the same passion as dad. Now fishing is a different story. Kyle really seems to enjoy fishing. In fact, every year he inquires about the start of the fishing season, especially the annual Planinsek Fishing Derby (Want to Go Fishing?). The cynical side of me says, it’s a favorite with Kyle because the sport requires a lot of sitting as opposed to hunting, which sometimes involves a bit more hiking. Either way, dad takes Kyle fishing whenever he can. We all join in on that fun, but like I said, I have yet to meet anyone else with such a devotion for hunting and fishing like dad.
Even though dad is a hunter, he loves and appreciates animals, like another little someone I know. There’s no denying it, dad is an outdoorsy man. It’s also noted that Kyle really is not, although he certainly shares the love for all of God’s creatures. Growing up, dad couldn’t get enough of National Geographic and Marty Stouffer! Loyal Traveling Television Kyle has seemed to adopt this intense interest in animals as well. Seriously! Some of Kyle’s top picks for shows include Too Cute!, Weird True & Freaky, and Big Cat Diaries (one of my favorites too). Basically anything on Nat Geo and Animal Planet. Dad takes his love of outdoors and his eagerness for hunting a step further and enjoys watching Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel or the Trophy Hunting Channel. Kyle, like the rest of us, doesn’t really enjoy watching people pull fish from a pond or shoot a Mountain Goat. But we do like watching the hibernation of bears and the strength of ants.
Sports and sports teams have never been big in our house. The Piper’s have been known to play a mean game of baseball, but that’s about the extent of it, at least in our immediate family. Dad never played any sports, having to start working and making posts when he was nine-years-old. The option wasn’t there for him to have that interest. Now Kyle has had every opportunity to participate in sports, but he has chosen another path. Forget it, if there is football, baseball, basketball or even hockey on the TV, no one in the family is watching it, including Kyle. I’ve had Kyle involved in Pee Wee football, basketball (which what a real treat for the eyes) soccer, gymnastics, running and swimming. Nope, no real interest. Don’t get me wrong, he had fun playing with the other kids and getting out, but there is definitely no love and desire to play these activities for the sport of it.
Kyle and dad, what a pair. You should see them watching TV together. They are always leaning and snuggling between the two, truly enjoying the company of the other.
Dad was always like that with us as kids. I personally used dad’s arm as a pillow and fall asleep. But I must admit, dad has fallen victim to the grandson rule and monarchy. Dad doesn’t always let Kyle get away with things, but I would have to say more than not. Certainly, ten times what we were able to get away with as kids. Yep, Kyle owns us!
Now back to the similarity. I’ve mentioned it a time or two, Kyle loves math. Dad has always been good at basic math and measurements. Now dad never had the opportunity to be education to the level Nicole was, but I bet dad could have done so. Kyle and dad are both quick with numbers, rattling off and adding up prices and such. Quick story time! I know I’ve mentioned this one a time or two, but what the heck, it’s a good one.
Once, when we were visiting Nicole, we decided to tour one of the Smithsonian Museums. Naturally, Kyle’s pappy had to buy him a souvenir. Whatever the item was, dad got him two. As dad and Kyle walked up to the register and before the lady could ring them up, Kyle spitted out the total. Not only was it the total of the two items but Kyle figured in the tax. He was actually off by a couple of pennies and that didn’t fly with Kyle. He questioned the register and unbeknownst to Kyle, the tax was different then ours locally, so that explained the discrepancy.
Dad does the same thing when figuring out mileage and measurements, especially board footage. Yep both quick with basic numbers! I guess it’s there thing.
Dad and Kyle are also super friendly people. For Kyle to be that way as a youngster, made me a bit nervous, but now that he has grown into a young man, it’s nice to see. Dad will say ‘hi’ to any stranger on the street with a sincere smile, just like Ryan used to. Kyle shares that trait as well. Dad will look anyone in the eye, give them a good strong handshake and present a warming smile, before beginning a conversation with anyone. Kyle with start up conversations with adults and kids alike. He is learning the proper way to shake hands with someone and to greet them, but he always had the ability to make friends and be inviting. All good qualities.
Dad is not like the typical ‘guy’ when it comes to directions. He hates being lost and has no trouble stopping to ask for assistance. Kyle has always joined dad in that demeanor. Even in the grocery store, Kyle is the first to speak up and say “Can I just ask Aunt Heather?” That’s my man, never has been shy about asking for anything!
I guess I’ve discussed personality traits and interests but I haven’t addressed body types. Kyle is build exactly like my dad. They both have a wide thick body, solid stocky legs. Funny enough, their feet are even shaped the same. Even when dad was at his thinnest when he was in the army and Kyle was at his leanest, neither one were built like Ryan, long and lanky. They both have a study structure.
Kyle and his pappy, what a pair! They certainly both need each other and even though they are similar in many ways, their opposing nature truly helps the other out. They are a good team!