Crock Pot Love
In the very first episode of Mouthpeace, Michael and Pele pull back the curtain on their personal lives. We hear them argue about how they met, how becoming a parent made Michael a better NFL player, and the unique blend of their marriage and families.
[00:06] Michael Bennett: Wake up. Wake up. You’re listening to Mouthpiece with Michael and Pele Bennett. Hey, thanks for tuning in.
[00:14] Pele Bennett: Every week, Michael and I are going to put out a new episode talking to each other about what’s going on in our lives and talking to friends and guests about things like the NFL and sport.
[00:24] Michael Bennett: Ugh. The NFL. And we’re going to have depth. We’re not going to talk about no bullshit sports all the time, but we’re gonna be talking to guests such as Freeway Ricky Ross, Dr. Eddie Glaude, John Carlos. And we’re going to talk about race, culture, religion and state of politics in America.
[00:40] Pele Bennett: And we definitely are going to talk about raising our three daughters in this crazy world.
[00:45] Michael Bennett: And we’re going to talk about S-E-X. That’s sex. And whatever the fuck else we want to talk about, because really this is our show.
[00:52] Pele Bennett: And most episodes will end with a fun game where you guys get to learn some ridiculous things about us and our guests.
[00:58] Michael Bennett: Not me. And every week we’re gonna give you some pro tips. Just some advice about how to keep your relationship fresh. And some things we figured out along the way of our life.
[01:05] Pele Bennett: Join us every Friday. For some ish. Some good ish, some bad ish and just some learning.
[01:13] Michael Bennett: And just enjoy the show. I mean, this. Enjoy the fucking show, please. The show must go on. Enjoy.
[01:26] Michael Bennett: I’d say that we met on the bus and I said she wanted to marry me when she saw me. But she doesn’t recall the story being that way. I was on the bus and she needed a place to sit. And I was just like, “you can sit here, Pele!” And that’s how we met.
[01:39] Pele Bennett: Negative. That is not true at all. I do remember going on the bus and you were on that bus a couple of times. And then I decided to not take the bus anymore. I remember meeting you and actually didn’t like you. Not your looks. It was more your personality. You were really goofy, loud. You were like a clown in the hallway and you kept trying to ask me out, talk to me.
[02:00] Michael Bennett: I ain’t tried to ask you out more than one time.
[02:03] Pele Bennett: But I think summer passed. I didn’t like you. Then you came back to school. You were going into 11th. I was going into 10th. And then you kind of blossomed a little bit. And I was like, hey, I was like, who is that guy? And I was like, oh, that’s Michael.
[02:17] Michael Bennett: Sometimes you don’t know the person that you meet is going to be a part of your life forever. I always ask Pele, “did you know that I would be the father pf your kids, and that we would experience so much together?” And she — honest, all the time — she’s like, “no, I didn’t. I wasn’t thinking about that.”
[02:30] Pele Bennett: I mean, I was also 15 when I met you. So I definitely wasn’t thinking of —
[02:33] Michael Bennett: I was thinking about that. I was like, “I’m gonna get her pregnant.” No, I wasn’t thinking that. But at the same time, we always say that like, did you really think that you really had that many experiences together as far as being together for so long? And who knew that meeting on that bus would turn into an 18-year journey? That’s weird that you can be a child and meet somebody and that person can be a part of your life, but also it kind of expands beyond just the two individuals, but into two families in the trickle-down effect. But on that bus, though, did you just — you had some big-ass shoes on, too.
[03:11] Pele Bennett: What shoes were they?
[03:12] Michael Bennett: Those big-ass Air Force Ones you used to wear?
[03:13] Pele Bennett: Oh, yes. I loved Air Force Ones, especially the one with the clear Nike bubble.
[03:16] Michael Bennett: That bus ride — the first time I saw Pele on the bus, you know, you see a person, right, and I’m looking at this person — I didn’t understand what this person was made up of. I think for me, the first time I saw Pele, I saw a beautiful woman, a beautiful young girl that I wanted to have sex with. Nah, I’m joking. Am I lying or am I telling the truth? You guys choose.
[03:41] Michael Bennett: I saw a beautiful person that I saw and I was like, this is the person. I want to see what this is about. And talking to her, I never had the idea of like taking that into something more. And so the first time I met her and met her family, and then I learned about who she was as an individual, what she believed in, her morals and principles, her family structure, what her family believed in. Our culture might be different, our language might have been different, our religion might have been different. But the essence of her was family. And for me, that was important. Every week her family gets together and they have a family event. And this is what her thing is. This is the person that I would want to be with forever, because and the end of the day I want to be in love with somebody that is about family. And now it has gone into something even bigger, because I didn’t know that she would become a community leader. She would become a business woman. She would become all these different things. And now looking at who she’s become, I’m very thankful. I pick good. I feel like I should go play the lottery now.
[04:32] Pele Bennett: How did this turn from talking about me to complimenting yourself?
[04:38] Michael Bennett: I just — I’m saying that I saw those things.
[04:41] Pele Bennett: No, it’s because I’m watching him say this and then when he goes, “I pick good,” he had the biggest smile, like, he really was like, “Time for myself.” I’m sure when you met me and I brought you to the house, there’s so many people at my house all the time. And we had like a small house growing up. Well, we always had neighbors, we had friends over so many relatives would come to our house. Like, what did you think when you thought that all the time?
[05:06] Michael Bennett: I mean, it smelled weird. But I was able to get over the smell. The thing that I remember always growing up was Sunday. Sunday was like so — my mom and family would cook on Sunday, but I was like, I want to go to to Pele’s because mine was more formal. It was like the same thing. Everybody would come and we’d play dominoes. We’d play cards. And we had fried chicken. We had the same thing we had on Thanksgiving. But it was good. It was fun because we had a lot of family over. But Pele’s would be like — so I would try to eat really fast. And then I’d be like, “oh, mom, I’m gonna go up to Pele’s house.” I would just walk and run down the street to her house. It was about a mile away. That’s how I would get into the good shape, I would run all the way down there. And then I would get there and they would have like live music. They would have you know, it was just like a lot of things going on. People playing soccer, busting pinatas. I’m just like, this is fun right here. So it was kind of cool to get into like something new and see that. That was like eye-opening to me. That was like the thing that I loved about high school was going to your house on Sunday.
[05:59] Pele Bennett: Oh, that’s really beautiful. The Sundays were fun, though. I wish like that continued as we got older, but my family still does it. But that was every weekend. I remember the first time going to your house. You invited me over for dinner. And I was so nervous because I went to your house and his mom was really good at decorating. And so the house was like exquisite. Everything was perfect. I was like, “oh, my God. I don’t want to touch anything or break anything.” Yes, a lot of privilege. And so I remember they had a fish tank. And I walked over there and I was complimenting on these little wooden fishes that were on top of it. And I touched one. I said, “oh, this is so pretty.” And then it fell. It fell and a fin broke on the top. And your dad was like, “oh, that’s OK. We only went on a vacation to Jamaica and got those.” And I was feeling so bad. I was like, oh, my God. I was like, now they already hate me. And then I remember after that, you guys had dinner and we were sitting there and and Martellus was there. And I remember him saying something like silly, like, “make sure you don’t put your elbows on the table. Don’t put your hands there. Keep them under the table. Don’t talk.” Like he was saying all these different things, but because it was my first time, even if I thought he was joking, I was like, I don’t want to mess up, you know, and come off rude and offend anyone. Because that’s like, in my house, like, you know, you just want to have respect. I remember doing that, and then afterwards, I remember us saying prayer and I thought that was beautiful that you guys did that together. And then he was laughing at me. And I was like, what? He was like, I’m joking. A good like few minutes of stress and anxiety. And then he was joking.
[07:24] Pele Bennett: So I met Michael through my cousin that was in high school with us. Michael played football. And so I don’t really know anyone at the time because I was just coming in from home school. And when I met him, I thought he was really silly and goofy. And then the longer and the more time we spent together, I did get to know him and get to know him better. And I realized how big of a heart he had. And I know we were only like 15 or 16 at that time, but I can already tell I was like, oh, this guy is really nice, really sweet. And he was not maybe open to, like, emotion. There were like a couple times we had conversations — the way that you would describe something, it was with emotion. And one time, I remember being outside were sitting like on a van in the driveway and we had an argument. And I’m not trying to call you out, but I remember you crying. But I was like such a hard-ass. Growing up, I was respectful, but I was like the sassy one in the family. And so everyone would be like, oh, here goes Pele again. And so not that I had like this hardness of me, but when I saw this coming from you, it really like lightened my heart. I was like, wow. I think he is very in touch to like his feelings on how he feels something. And that is to this day, like whatever you feel like you’re very strong with it. What?
[08:30] Michael Bennett: I’m thinking about something. I’m crying! I’m crying!
[08:38] Pele Bennett: But I did admire that of him because I do feel that all the time that we’ve spent, 18 years now, I do feel that like his masculinity is different. I think it’s a rare form because I grew up with a household where if you’re fighting with your sibling and we say, oh, we’re going to tell dad, I would be terrified. Because I really thought my dad would give me a licking or something, wven though I never got them. But he definitely had that type of masculinity in the house, you know, and instilled fear almost where you did not want to mess up. But then meeting Michael and being in a relationship with him, still learning, you know, what that even looks like and what it means to have a boyfriend. I remember him opening up to me easily. And I was not that kind of person. Like I would open with my family, but now with friends or anything like that.
[09:26] Michael Bennett: It’s actually funny, though, because her dad recently gave Pele all the love letters that we wrote in high school. And so I was like, did he fucking read these letters? I don’t know what he was thinking. Maybe he did read them or not. But it was interesting in those letters that we wrote, they were so like deep in the feelings.
[09:42] Pele Bennett: They were very deep. Well, that’s what it was. I think that you were very deep within your feelings, but not only as a young person, as a male. And I wasn’t used to seeing that. Like I was used to seeing that within my family, but I didn’t know that like that existed, especially for men. And so seeing that, I really thought that was something unique that you carried. And I do feel that you carry that into this day. That when you do express yourself on something that you feel, you know, whether it’s something angry, love, happiness, I feel that you don’t care of the rules of it. Like there’s no limit for you. You’re going to say how you feel. You’re going to push to what you want. And I feel that you’ve carried that within our marriage, the children and even other stuff that like you are standing up for. You know, like at work, I feel like has carried on through your life. But I do feel that that is probably something that definitely piqued my interest. That I was like, oh, I like this. I want to learn more about it.
[10:31] Michael Bennett: And as you say, like you came to my house for dinner. I came to your house over dinner. And I was thinking like it was very interesting because we started to spend more time together. It wasn’t like an instant thing where our family just all of a sudden was like, there we go. But it was like we started to go to a time where our families finally started to meet. I think I was at a football game our families met the first time.
[10:51] Pele Bennett: Well, my family was going to the games in high school to see my cousin all the time. And then you just so happened to play on the team.
[10:59] Michael Bennett: Yeah. So I felt like that was coming when we first started having our families getting introduced to each other. I think over time it just spun into something different because I remember the first time your sister too, she used to pick me up in the car. And I always felt like she was like the neighbor on a Home Improvement. I was always in the backseat and she would always just put her face at the mirror. And I could only see her eyes in the mirror. I could never see her whole body. All I could see was the top of her big-ass forehead and her eyes on the thing. That is all I can ever see so and I started like — it was this funny because every time I see Home Improvement, I think about your sister and your next door neighbor. And it was funny because she became a friend over time. And our families started to blend beyond just like interaction. I feel like a lot of times in families, people, they’re married to somebody, but they’re not married to a family.
[11:54] Pele Bennett: I feel like when you do marry someone, you marry into the family and you need to invest that time to get to know the family, because I feel that helps you to understand more about your spouse. And that’s important.
[12:05] Michael Bennett: That was important to me because at the end of the day, I felt that like when you’re married to somebody, you married to their family. And that becomes a bigger thing. Like, I don’t see your sister’s kids as not my niece and nephew. I see them as my niece and nephews because I’ve been with them for so long. I remember when they were like one and two years old. Now they’re 20 years old.
[12:24] Pele Bennett: I know. I definitely know you feel that way. Because we both feel that way now. But I remember from the beginning, you used to say, like, my uncle was your uncle. And you’d be telling someone a story and, you know, you’d be like, “oh, yeah, you know, Uncle Fiti, he told me this and that.” And I’m like, “your uncle? That’s my uncle.” But at the end of day it was beautiful to see that you took in my family that way. But they also took you in as well.
[12:43] Michael Bennett: I mean, when we got married that we flew, what, 60 people to Hawaii? That was baller. And that’s the funny part about that is that flying people there was the most expensive part of our wedding. Actually, it was really expensive. But I just remember that week will always be like engraved in my mind because it was like a week where I was like a whole of black people and a whole bunch of Polynesian people. And every day was like, we cook. We sang. We had — and there’s a lot of people who have died from that group of people. But at that moment, it was like we —
[13:11] Pele Bennett: But also, it’s so funny because our cultures are so different. That week that we got married, we rented a house. And so we had everyone staying at the house. And it was beautiful because we, I think, also noticed, because we were just about to get married, all of the similarities we have. And I think that was just values. Like what we value as individuals, but like our family values were so similar. And I think we’re able to mesh really well and that was a good sign to say, OK, we’re going the right direction.
[13:37] Michael Bennett: It was fun, though, because like a lot of people that I love in that moment will always be in my mind, because when I look at that picture of that, it’s like dang, like, them days. Those days was like everybody was blended and we were just having fun. I remember going outside and we were playing football mixed together as just family, catching balls, throwing, and we cooked all these different things. And your family would make a Polynesian dish, my family would make something. But it was just fun.
[14:00] Pele Bennett: It’s almost, I think, like blending your family, especially like a supportive family. It’s like what’s better than having a bigger village to help raise yourself, because you were still so young, but also our kids.
[14:10] Michael Bennett: This sounds almost like a fairy tale, honestly. To meet somebody at a young age and to experience everything with them, to grow old and then die. I mean, that’s the truth. Like that’s like a story, a fairy tale. Like people meet the person at one time and that’s the person that they fall in love with.
[14:25] Pele Bennett: Yeah, it’s like all the Lifetime and Hallmark movies I’ve been watching during the holidays.
[14:30] Michael Bennett: Yeah. So you watch those and it’s like but that’s not everybody else’s experiences because they have — sometimes they never, ever meet the person that they really fall in love with.
[14:42] Pele Bennett: Or are with for a long time.
[14:43] Michael Bennett: Yeah. Maybe at that time when they met the person they wasn’t ready. But I think it’s honorable to keep fighting for something that you love. I think that’s incredible. As a young couple to keep going and going regardless of the ups and downs, but to continuously fight for that. I think that’s impressive. I think a lot of times in this generation —
[15:01] Pele Bennett: So you’re impressed by yourself right now?
[15:02] Michael Bennett: I’m impressed by us. Not impressed by me.
[15:07] Pele Bennett: I’m impressed by me.
[15:08] Michael Bennett: I could easily be impressed by myself, but I don’t do it.
[15:10] Pele Bennett: What happens in your life to finally be like, you know, like even us when we’re like, OK, we’re doing the right thing? Because you think about it, we’re 15, 16. We first meet each other. No, I was not thinking of marriage, babies, anything. So I’m like, wow, when was that moment where it’s like you have that aha moment. You’re like, oh, I’m doing the right thing. Or this is what I wanted.
[15:29] Michael Bennett: My whole point is — you’re answering my whole thing.
[15:32] Pele Bennett: That’s what I’m saying —
[15:35] Michael Bennett: It’s a body of work. It’s a body of work. I feel like the body of work between two people is what is is the most important thing.
[15:41] Pele Bennett: It’s also OK to not know exactly what you want.
[15:44] Michael Bennett: Yeah it’s OK.
[15:47] Pele Bennett: You keep working at it, and that’s where you’re seeing that that pressure, that diamond comes out, because the more you work at it and try at it and you don’t run away from it.
[15:53] Michael Bennett: No, you don’t run away from it. It’s like people don’t want to have those ups and downs in a relationship. They want it to just be always high. But there’s so many lows in a relationship because it’s like you meet somebody, you bring it to different types of trauma together. The pasts of both people. Both people have pasts. They both have a different type of family. They both have a different type of religion. Now you’re trying to merge all that. I say it’s an incredibly difficult thing to do between two people.
[16:17] Pele Bennett: I think ours was difficult? Or no?
[16:20] Michael Bennett: Oh, yeah.
[16:21] Pele Bennett: Like of our families coming in. I think ours is completedly different.
[16:23] Michael Bennett: I think ours is more difficult because of the age, because we actually hit an all these milestones in the growth and evolution of an individual’s mind and his priorities and their goals and their self-awareness.
[16:35] Pele Bennett: No, I definitely feel like we’ve evolved as a couple. Like you evolve individually, but then your relationship has to evolve also. And so those are not only two things that you’re working on, and then you bring, you know, children into it. That’s another evolution. You have to work at all of these. And I think that’s really hard.
[16:56] Michael Bennett: But the moral of the story, guests who are listening, do not run away from the trials and tribulations of the relationship, people. Those are the things that’s going to help you grow. Denzel Washington said you should put your shoes underneath your bed. Why? Because it will make you get on your knees. And then you would have to pray and thank God for the beautiful life as you look up in your room, and you start to thank God for everything that happens. But then at the same time as you pray for all the happiness and the blessings that have happened to you, you also to thank God for the trials and tribulations of your life, because that is what is going to mold you. Those uncomfortable moments help you grow and become something bigger and deeper. And I think that’s important for relationships to happen. And I just hope that people realize that these relationships aren’t like microwaves, where we pop something in and we get it get this instant gratification of love. Our relationships are like oxtails. You have to continually put those things —
[17:54] Pele Bennett: You have to cook it. It is tough. It’s tough meat.
[17:57] Michael Bennett: Yeah, but you have to tenderize it.
[17:59] Pele Bennett: You don’t tenderize oxtails.
[18:00] Michael Bennett: I’m saying tenderize it by cooking it.
[18:01] Pele Bennett: Oh yeah. You boil it simmer, simmer.
[18:06] Michael Bennett: You have to simmer it. You get in there and you cook that oxtail. No jerk chicken. Just oxtail. Not Jamaican. I don’t really like their oxtails, honestly. Once you have that Jamaican oxtail, it’s just like it’s hard to eat another oxtail.
[18:26] Pele Bennett: OK, that has nothing to do with anything right now.
[18:27] Michael Bennett: I’m saying that love is like a oxtail. It takes time. When we first got into that pot, we was in that pot and we was just raw. We was raw. We’re just in there like cooking. Then we started to simmer. The more seasoning from both of our life, we started to add different thing, adding, adding, adding, adding —
[18:51] Pele Bennett: It’s crock pot love.
[18:52] Michael Bennett: Crock pot love, not crackpot love. That’s a deep simmer of love.
[19:01] Pele Bennett: So, that will explain our relationship?
[19:01] Michael Bennett: Yeah. Oxtails.
[19:03] Pele Bennett: No, crock pot.
[19:04] Michael Bennett: Oh yeah. That’s a whole ‘nother thing right there.
[19:12] Pele Bennett: Stay with us. Michael has to take a shit. We’ll be right back.
[19:15] Michael Bennett: More and more after this break.
[21:59] Michael Bennett: We’re back. Now, how long we’ve been together, and then you add a child, like you said, we add Peyton. And we had this early. 20. 21?
[22:12] Pele Bennett: Yeah. That’s early. I mean, unplanned early, you know. And I don’t remember, like, talking to you about like, oh, we want to have babies. Like, it was like farfetched. It was never like, oh, you know, like we want to settle down. Actually, after we had Peyton is when that conversation did come about. About really settling down and like moving in together and all those type of things.
[22:37] Michael Bennett: I think, too, when you have a baby, I remember even when Peyton was born, it seemed so like — now that she’s 13, it just seems kind of weird because she was like this little — I don’t think babies are pretty either. I think babies are ugly just to get that out there. Is that a bad thing? I think that babies are ugly. They grow to beautiful people.
[22:54] Pele Bennett: I agree.
[22:57] Michael Bennett: But to look into something’s eyes and see like the soul of it. And I think was —
[23:02] Pele Bennett: But not seeing their soul, seeing your own soul in your baby.
[23:05] Michael Bennett: Yeah. And it just changes you instantly, like the instant reality of what just happened. It’s like this is another life, another life that you have to be responsible for, another life that you have to love. And you’re so young, and what does that really mean? What is this type of love?
[23:23] Pele Bennett: But you know what, now that you saying that it’s like, love also — if you want to love someone, even though like it’s a scary thing, you’re fearful, it comes with so much responsibility. Like for your own feelings and yourself and for the other person. And then bringing another child into it. That’s scary, too. Because before — while I was pregnant, I was terrified, like terrified to be like, obviously a mother. But I was scared because I was like, how would I perform? How would I do good. What does this mean? You know, like there’s so many different fears, especially when you’re young and you have so much life still ahead of you. So you’ve so much unknown ahead of you.
[23:57] Michael Bennett: And then also, too, it’s like you love your family, but you don’t know what it feels like to love something that’s yours. Like you love your brothers and sisters because that’s what you’re supposed to do. You up grow with them. It’s just a natural love that you can be mad at them or whatever. But the kid love is like is way different.
[24:13] Pele Bennett: It’s a special bond because with a sibling, I think family love, you know you have them. But that’s where that love of responsibility comes in when you have a child, especially when they’re so young. I feel like the love is different that way.
[24:25] Michael Bennett: It was definitely weird.
[24:27] Pele Bennett: Definitely I think also having a baby so young makes you reflect. Where you’re like, “damn, maybe I was bad.”
[24:34] Michael Bennett: Peyton is the main reason why I feel like I’ve made it this far in the NFL, honestly. Because I feel like at that point, looking at her is like another — I feel like it was another level. Like, you cannot fail. You cannot fail. You can let yourself down, but you cannot let this child down. You have to be able to provide for them.
[24:53] Pele Bennett: Now, that’s making me think of when I ask Peyton in the car, I was asking Peyton about her school things and what does she want to do these next couple of years, because she’s going to go to high school soon. And she was talking about, you know, she’s very academically driven, Peyton. I don’t know where she gets this from. She’s so motivated. So as we’re driving, she goes, “mom, I’m just so motivated to not fail.” I was driving, so I couldn’t stop. But it really hit me. And I was like, wow, as a 13 year old young lady to be able to say that about herself, and take that responsibility for herself. You know, like she’s not having to do that for any of us. It’s really just for her. So she’s so driven. So when those words came, it like really touched me. I was so like a proud, you know, parent moment. And then, of course, the conversation continued. And I said, “well, what is it, you know, that you don’t want to fail, you know, besides school? But like, what is it?” And she was just talking in detail about, you know, what she wants to accomplish in life. It was so cute.
[25:51] Michael Bennett: I think over time we have built a great process of being able to move forward on different things, whether it’s moving, or getting traded, or this career. I just feel like we —
[26:05] Pele Bennett: I think it was a process to it. I don’t think like we — you got in the league, you know, then we officially moved in together. And it wasn’t just like, “yay, we’re a family. We’re doing all these great things.” I think we had a lot of first-time things that happened. And I honestly feel like in the beginning it was like all the time, it was first time of everything. First time having a kid. First time living together, first time paying bills together, first time moving across country. It was first times of so many things.
[26:33] Michael Bennett: I know it is so weird though, because it’s like when you in the NFL, it’s like, we’re both young and we’re like —
[26:40] Pele Bennett: I’m one year younger than Michael, by the way.
[26:41] Michael Bennett: It’s weird, though, because you’re both young and we’re experiencing these things, you know, we have to figure out how to build our family. Like it goes back to what we said at the beginning, both of us have this past and how our families was raised. Both have religious families, but two different religions. We both have culture. But your culture is way different. My culture is way different here. And now we have a kid and now we’re trying to do that and blend that together. That shit was a very — it was an interesting journey.
[27:07] Pele Bennett: I think as much as we are similar, there are differences.
[27:09] Michael Bennett: There’s so many differences.
[27:12] Pele Bennett: But I will say I think that helped us both individually to come together is coming from having I think our parents. Like having them as an example —
[27:24] Michael Bennett: And family, too. Not just our parents. Because I remember like I used to love playing XBox, like I used to play XBox all the time. Like in college. I love Halo. I love Call of Duty. Give us a damn sponsorship, I played y’all. And I used to play Zombies for hours and hours at a time. And then my brother-in-law came in and we just had Blake and then he just made me feel like shit. He told Pele, he’s like, “wow, Michael’s playing video games a lot. You just had a new baby.” And so for me, that was like a wake-up call. This awakening. Because it’s like you’re thinking you’re young. I’m still thinking that I’m like 18. I could play video games all day. And that’s just not true. I was like, no, I got other responsibilities.
[28:09] Pele Bennett: So this is what happened. We were living in Tampa. He was playing for the Buccaneers. And I had just had Blake, our second child. And I did feel overwhelmed and I had a lot on my plate because that was our second kid. But I will say also that when you used to play all day, every day after work, he would play XBox. And honestly, I can never remember it being like, damn, why is he playing all day? It didn’t really bother me for some reason, I don’t know why, reflecting on it back right now. But my brother did come in town. He just moved back from India. He was doing a mission out there. And he came back. And so I feel like he had went and like enlightened himself on his journey in life and his new path he wanted to go towards. And he came and he really gave a lot to me. And so when he’s mentioned that Michael was sitting with Blake in his lap while he played XBox for hours, I don’t know. I feel like it was both ways. Because you were with Blake, not saying that you weren’t being engaged.
[29:14] Michael Bennett: She was a baby. What was I supposed to do? I don’t have any breasts. Ok, brother-in-law, I didn’t have any breasts!
[29:23] Pele Bennett: But we did need someone on the outside to like say that. Because that was taking away from like our time engaging together.
[29:30] Michael Bennett: Long story short is like everything is an experience. So the first time we got the NFL check, I’m not gonna say how much it was. But it was $19,000. And I thought I was like Rick Ross. I thought I was Puff Daddy. I was like $19,000 — like this shit — I’m about to go get a Ferrari. But I didn’t realize that $19,000 — in my head I thought $19,000 was a lot. I thought I was a lot of money. It was like the most money I’ve ever seen in my life. It was like, oh man, I got $19,000. I went from zero to $19,000.
[29:58] Pele Bennett: You think it can last long.
[30:03] Michael Bennett: You think it last long, but then we had to do the first month, last month, get some furniture, all these different things. And then it was like, “Oh.”
[30:09] Pele Bennett: And then also having a kid is like — having a kid and then having another kid, you don’t realize how much financial responsibility is either. And then now we have three. It starts growing. And then it also makes you mindful of what you need to sacrifice in your own personal self or in life. I guess that’s also what we’ve learned together is just sacrificing different things. like almost like a piece of yourself. Sometimes when you’re getting to a religion so young and not knowing you’re sacrificing pieces of yourself and then bringing children into that. And that’s a whole other window opening. I’m so thankful for our kids now that they have a support group that they can go to, like they have two sets of grandparents, you know, like I only grew up with one grandma. I didn’t have that experience. I didn’t even have an experience of a grandfather. So like, I don’t know that. So with the girls having that, I think it’s so cute and sweet. But just I’m thankful for both sides of our family that our girls can turn to anyone for anything and our family is going to show up. And I think it’s because we instill that that is a priority to have family.
[31:11] Michael Bennett: And it’s so hard when you have a blended family like mine, too, because my family’s very complicated. When it talks about my mom and dad getting divorced. And you have a step-mom, you have a real mom. And it’s just one of those things where — it’s another talk that you had to have with your kids when you have a blended family, because then divorces and just the two individuals who are divorcing — it’s the family structure. And it’s like so now these two different people were divorced and my mom and dad got divorced. And now we had this even a bigger blended family with my mom. And then having my daughters have to, like, figure out what is their relationship mean to them with my mom. And I think that’s been like a great experience.
[31:48] Pele Bennett: I think at first, whenever we did have your mom coming around, your biological mother, I know in the beginning the girls were very confused. And that was a difficult conversation on how do we delicately explain this to them? You know, with just letting them have their own views, decisions like we weren’t trying to choose science or anything like that. And I think it was we definitely had the moment where they did not care.
[32:11] Michael Bennett: Yeah, it got to the point where I felt it was the adults who care more.
[32:16] Pele Bennett: It was the innocence of them and the innocence of like just their pure love, that like the more the merrier. They could take on, you know, your biological mother, who, you know, they didn’t know it that much at that time, as she started coming around more. But I think that it was so pure that they would just blossom. Their relationship with her with no strings, no doubts, know like it was just pure love. They’re just like, yep, that’s my other grandma.
[32:42] Michael Bennett: And that’s the thing. I feel like that’s when you have a blended family like we do, is that you have to be able to accept that other person’s trauma that they’re dealing with from their family and be able to — I wouldn’t say give your opinion on it, but find a way to console them, to help them get through their struggles that they grew up with. And I think we’ve done a great job with that. You’ve done an outstanding job of that, knowing what we had to go through and then helping me. Like, I feel like most people when somebody know that they love is being wronged, they will push them to not open up and close those doors, and close those wounds off. So they will never open up those wounds. But I feel like you’ve done a great job of pushing me towards those wounds to open those wounds up so they can really heal. Not putting a Band-Aid on them, but really healing from the flesh. And I think that is important for a family to be able to do that, because if you don’t have a strong person behind you, or next to you helping you or pushing you towards — really behind you, because at this point is really pushing you towards something that’s greater than just yourself. And I think that’s where I feel like when you have a wife or a husband or whatever you have that can help you, a partner, pushing you towards something in your past that it can help you get forward and help you mend it would a great blended family, because you take the time to understand the other person’s story and you’ve seen it from another perspective, and you helping them get through it. I think that’s powerful.
[33:59] Pele Bennett: You know, I think it’s just nurturing on what you’re seeing. And it’s not the fact that like, oh, I could have pushed you, because really down to you on your own. I think it’s like nurturing the idea that you possibly might want this in your life. You know, the situation in the relationship. And it’s just watching it, but also being a support system for you. So if you were to go and say it failed, like a you would still have me to fall back on.
[34:25] Michael Bennett: Exactly.
[34:30] Michael Bennett: All right, everybody is that time of the week or we kind of have our little pro tip, and Pele does her little thing. We respectfully disagree on certain things, but the same time we still love each other.
[34:45] Michael Bennett: Each week we’re going to have a pro tip, it’s gonna be a part of our segment where we talk about a tip that could help influence you, or tell you to stay away. And this week’s pro tip is everybody wants to start a podcast, but don’t start a fucking podcast. This shit is hard. You know, the producers are calling you, bothering you about you that you don’t want to hear about, but you have to do. It’s a real business. It’s not something that’s so simple as you think. If you turn the microphone on, you press and play, like you about to drop a record or something. This is a business. So at the same time, there’s way more things that come with making a podcast. But if you want to start one, go ahead. But I’m telling you, this shit is hard. Shit is really hard. It’s like constipation. I’m stuck right now in this chair right now feelin
g constipated, somebody talking to me and my earphone. It’s hard.
[35:35] Pele Bennett: All right. That’s a wrap.
[35:39] Michael Bennett: That’s it. That’s the end of this shit. That’s the end of this episode of Mouthpeace.
[35:44] Pele Bennett: On next week’s episode, we’re talking about concussions. That is the term that I never want to hear and always fear.
[35:49] Michael Bennett: And it’s something a lot of guys hide when they get them. And we’re going to talk about the word no athlete wants to hear about: retirement. So we get a chance to catch up with former Baltimore Raven Dawan Landry and his great wife, Dom. We’ll be airing new episodes of Mouthpeace every fucking Friday. Please subscribe to us or like us on anything that you’re listening to. Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, whatever you’re listening to get away from your family, whoever you don’t want to be around. And make sure you rate us or give us a comment. Even though we don’t give a fuck about your comments, give us a comment. Mouthpeace is a production of Lemonada Media, which you can find online on all social platforms @LemonadaMedia. You can follow me on social media, @MosesBread72. I love bread, and biblically, I always thought I was Moses.
[36:34] Pele Bennett: And you can follow me on Instagram at @pelepels. Mouthpeace with Michael and Pele Bennett is executive produced by us, the Bennetts. Our Lemonada Media executive producer is Eli Kramer, and our producer is Genevieve Garrity. Our assistant producer is Claire Jones and our audio is edited by Bryan Castillo. Thank you to our ad sales and distribution partners at Westwood One, and to all of our sponsors for making this show possible.
[36:58] Michael Bennett: Thank you for listening. We’ll be back. We’ll be back next week! We’ll be back, b-back, b-back! Make sure you tune in.