Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Interview about a Mother

This week, families around the country are sharing their inspiring, funny, honest, and heartbreaking stories with Yahoo! Parenting in an effort to spark conversations, a little compassion, and change in the way we think about parenting forever. I loved the interview that Raven Snook did with her daughter about Raven's occupation as a burlesque hostess, her Goth dress, and many tattoos, so I did my own here. If you have a story to share, use the hashtag #NoShameParenting or email YParenting at yahoo dot com.

As a kid, I dreamed about being someone's mom. I had baby dolls that I would diaper and pour asthma-triggering Johnson's powder over their plastic dimpled bottoms like they were biscuits about to go into the oven. I had plastic baby bottles and would coo and feed and coddle and coo and feed and coddle my imaginary children, then go to sleep for the night, and wake up fresh the next day for another day of pretend mothering. Feed Coddle Coo, I loved the rhythm of it. I wanted to take care of little ones in my life, no matter if they were real or not. When I finally did become pregnant, at an age old enough for my OB-GYN to stamp my medical chart with the red letters AMA, and not because they were part of the American Medical Association, I walked on air and patted the kidney bean in my womb for nine months straight. 
I had big dreams about motherhood. At the head of it all, even more than wanting to nurture and feedcoocoddle, was how I knew I would be a cool mom. Without a doubt, I would listen to my children, I would possess a bottomless well of patience and wisdom, and they would never be embarrassed about who their mother was.
Now that I am a mother, it's time to check the status of that dream of mine. So I did an interview with my youngest, based on the awesome piece by Raven Snook I mentioned above. My life pales compared to hers--that of a one woman burlesque show, but still, I thought my children would answer my interview questions with shouts resounding enough to knock the cedar shingles off the roof . YOU ROCK, MOM! they would yell. Not quite so, as evidenced below: 

1.) When I was a kid, my mom embarrassed me. She was so different from the other moms. I just wanted to blend in and she was having nothing doing with the Sally Homemaker in the Midwest. She was Colombian and loved it. She wore red lipstick when other moms wore pink. She wore gold hoops when other moms had gold studs. She had curls of Ava Gardner hair--don't ask, she's an actress from the stone age you don't know her. What about you? Do you feel embarrassed when I'm around? 

No. You dress like you should for your age. You don't try to be hip and hot like you're not. But you don't dress like a really old lady, either. And you look pretty good for your age. And you don't wear embroidered cat clothes.
2.) Do you think I wear the clothes I do like my heels and stuff because I like them?
Well, you wear like 43 year olds stuff because you look pretty good for your age. You don't dress like the other moms--they dress younger like Old Navy. Because they are younger.
3.) I used to worry about my mom. She did things that didn't make sense, and she would sometimes get frustrated over things I didn't understand. Is there anything I do that confuses you?

No. I kind of never wondered about that because you act like you don't care. So anything that happened was just funny, like we would both be surprised. But the stuff that makes me angry... [topic shelved for later at mother's request]

4.) If I were to dress and act like other moms, would this make you feel like you fit in more? Like, do you ever wish I looked and acted like the moms of your friends?

Hmmm. No. How you act created an essential part of who I am.

5.) Is there anything you want to ask me for this interview? I'm good at interviews.
Yes. Why do I have to do this interview.

6.) Do your friends ever say anything about how I am as your mother? 
Well, when you taught Sunday School they would say they thought you would be a neat parent. And I would tell them that yeah you give us a lot of freedom with how we think and what we think BUT that we need to obey you or you really lose your mind.
7.) Nice. Thank you.


8.) Do you wish you had a different mom?

No. Because then I wouldn't be the kid I am.

9.) You got me! A surprise 30 minutes of PS4 for you!

Nailed it. High five!

10.) What bugs you about me? Anything?

No. Wait... yeah. No. Wait. Yeah. With the rights you give me. I have no rights. I wish you gave me technology rights and let me hang out with people without having to know who they are.

11.) If someone asked you what I did all day, what would you say?

Write. Sike! No, I'd say , [lowers voice] "She is productive and makes sure her family is cared for. She probably cleans too. And goes to Starbucks."

12.) Ok, last one and then you can go. If there was one thing you could change about me, what would it be?

 P-H-O-N-E. Get me one. And let me hang out with girls without asking questions about who they are and where they go to school.
13.) [me dying laughing] Like that's going to happen.
"Mom, I opened all the Christmas presents and not a single dang box has a PHONE in it!"
Be sure to click over and check out Raven Snook's interview with her daughter as part of Yahoo! Parenting's #NoShameParenting campaign. 
P.S. It's fun to talk to your kids.
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  1. This is so great. I don't have kids but must share for all my mom friends.

    1. Tess, you are the best. Thank you. xo

  2. Wait. I've been assured that *my* son is the only one left in the world without a phone. Something fishy is going on.

  3. You Son sounds pretty rad. And now I want to go home and interview my dog to find out how I'm doing as his human.

    1. Please do it. You probably could understand by watching his face.



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