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Ben: I Am Proud of Every Family Member

Ben talks about adjusting to life in a somewhat empty Tankard Palace.

By Ben Tankard

As you may have noticed, everything about the Tankards is big. Big family, big dreams, and sometimes big problems. Despite setbacks and pitfalls, I am a man of faith and believe in the “Full Tank” mentality. What that actually means is I like to run on all cylinders. Even though I might be going a short distance, I prefer a Full Tank of gas.

Even though I rarely drive over 70mph, it feels good to be in a car that will do 130mph, even though you will only drive 70mph. Somehow that ride seems better than with the vehicle that only has a top speed of 70mph and everything is shaking when you drive it at that same speed. In other words, I believe in “more than enough" power or more than enough potential, or in the case of Tankard Palace, more than enough juveniles underfoot.  So what's the problem? Everybody's leaving! Who stole the juveniles?!?

This finale episode truly depicts the wide range of emotions that come with family life changes. Buckle up. It’s been a fun but bumpy ride this season, but I can see the runway, and we have even been cleared for the final approach, so here it goes:

Brooklyn's Growth

My eldest daughter “Queen Brooklyn" is fresh off another successful hair and fashion expo and expanding her business to different areas. She has come a long way from the "eternal spring breaker” she was years ago and is a great mother to her daughter Diamond. She is even appearing on top shows like Millionaire Matchmaker. In my mind, I figured she would live with us in the Tankard Palace until Mr. Right swoops in on the big horse and they ride out into the sunset to get married. WRONG!  Evidently Brookie did not get my dream memo.

She has decided for her and Diamond to move out own their own. Yes she is 26 years old and grown enough to make her own decisions and, no doubt, do well. I have to respect it, but I don't have to like it, so don't expect me to be Santa's helper with the move out. I know I'm going to miss Brooklyn's crazy evil villain laughter in the house, and I'm really going to miss telling Diamond to go to bed on time on school nights. #ScramSquirt. Oh well...

Ben Doesn't Want to Say Goodbye to Brooklyn

Benji and Shanira's New Digs

Every man needs his castle, and Benji is no different. As a married man, I think it was a smart move to purchase a home as soon as possible. Renting is convenient for a season, but sometimes it is better to invest that same money into purchasing your own home, especially if you know you are going to be settling down in that city. At first we were a little nervous about lending these college credit juveniles $70k for their condo, but I have to say, they have been very responsible with their agreement. They are already ahead several months on payments, and like Jewel said, they have done a great job of keeping their word.  Kudos! As for planning to have a baby, let's do it! I love it! God gives us parents the grandkids as a reward for not killing our kids!

Sexy Grandma!

With all the circus events always going on at Tankard Palace with the juveniles, I have to make a point to keep the romance hot with Grandma Jewel. Why not a night on the town at Restaurant Tankard. It was so funny getting her all dressed up, simply to drive around the roundabout and end up right back at home. I had the staff convert the third floor to a romantic dining get away, complete with our wedding song being played via or own private violin artist. It's going to be a good night... I'm da man! Looking at Jewel across the table just makes me remember just how blessed a man I really am.

The Upside of Being Empty Nesters

Britney Finds Her Passion

Nothing excites a parent more than to see their children succeed. ”

Ben Tankard

Nothing excites a parent more than to see their children succeed. Seeing my children pursue their dreams with passion always makes me a proud father. Britney, one of the most independent Tankard juveniles, has embarked on a new fitness venture that is helping people in the community get in shape, and I am super proud of her. Her Princess Boot Camps are super tough and are designed to pull the “Full Tank" potential out of you. Go Britney! The only thing I wish is that we got to see Britney more. She is so busy, we rarely see her smirky smiley cute face around. Oh well…

Juvenile Cyrene to Howard Equals Tears!

Cyrene is the spoiled baby of the family, so of course we anticipated a little drama in her departure. Everyone is at the house to see her off as we take her Washington, DC for school.

Right as we leave the driveway full of well-wishers and family, Cyrene has a tearful meltdown in the car! I guess it is finally kicking in...she is leaving. Dropping her off at college was not nearly as emotional, because you become distracted by work to do to get the dorm ready. After tearful goodbyes, we get back to TN and the somewhat empty nest.

Cyrene Leaves the Nest

Sexy Empty Nest?

Why does Jewel think having whoopee in each room will cure the empty nest blues? Hmm excuse me lady, don't u see all these kids' pictures on the wall looking at us?  WHY?  SMH. Whoopee is fun, but after it is over, you are still in this mansion with no one else to share it with. We need some more noise around this house. Hmm...Marcus and Tish and baby to the rescue!

Marcus and Tish Decide to Stick Around for a While!

After some bribing of Marcus from “The Godfather of Gospel Jazz” and some girl talk from “MiMi Jewel," Mark and Tish have decided to plant seeds in Murfreesboro for a while. I think what did it was when I let Marcus preach at our church. With all the businesses the Tankards own, our greatest joy is the charity we support with this community church Destiny Center, where everyone is a volunteer. Seeing the entire family there to support him, including Mom June and Dad Earthel, was a super blessing. We don't accept salary for being pastors. Marcus went to bible school and became an international missionary that traveled abroad to assist people in third world countries. Now back in the states at 30 years old with a family, he is not able to go Africa or India for years at a time, sleep on the ground, and eat bugs and preach to the natives.

He has to be settled because of his family. What better place than Murfreesboro at Tankard Palace with loving family AND he’ll be able to donate time at our Destiny Center to encourage local “natives?”  It's a win win. Having my grandson around for a while is going to be like Christmas every day for me! 

The Tankards are indeed a wacky bunch, but we love each other, and we love people. I am very proud of every family member and know that great things are in store for all. I agree with Jewel in that everything will work out with her sisters Junice and Junetta in time. Things are solid with me and the brother-in-loves Rock and George, and I know the girls will follow up soon.

I believe in the Full Tank. After all, my last two hit CDs are called Full Tank and Full Tank 2.0. My new book that is coming is called The Full Tank Life, and my clothing line is called...yep you guessed it: Full Tank for Men.

However, having a Full Tank Life does not necessarily mean you have to have the best of everything and the biggest of everything or all the kids under one roof. It simply means that whatever hand you have been dealt, you do YOUR BEST with what you have and what you know. You keep a good attitude in good times and bad times. And finally, you do all the “possible” and leave all the “impossible” up to the one who does impossible the best...God.

Until next season…

Be Well,

(Full) TANK

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