1. What is the one thing you would have done differently as a mom?
Had I been more mature and well-adjusted, less neurotic and unaware of my own dysfunction, I would have given my children much more of my attention. I would have realized that they grow up way too fast and you don't get a second chance. I would have given them more love and understanding. I would have looked into their eyes and really listened. I would still have been a strong disciplinarian but not with physical force. I would have cherished every moment that they were children so that now I would have more of those memories instead of the memories of my own bullshit. I would be the parent instead of one of the children.
2. Why did you choose to be with my father?
He was clean-cut when the rest of the men I met were hippies. He was more or less drug-free, not an alcoholic, not promiscuous, had no STDs. He came from a good family and had a trade which was very important at that time, more so than a college education. He was honest and responsible.
3. In what ways do you think I'm like you? And not like you?
I think you are like me in your level of intelligence but far surpass me in maturity relative to our ages. I think you have filters, that you usually think before you speak which is not like me but more like your dad. I believe you have close to the same sense of humor I have. You are less guilt-driven; you are more likely to know what you want and less likely to be influenced by the wishes of others. You share my love (NOT) of physical exercise. You are able to read and enjoy reading unlike the males in the family.
4. Which one of us kids did you like the best?
What a question! I know it may have seemed at times that I liked Tom the best. The truth is that he was easier for me to relate to and raise. Much simpler and more straight-forward. Letting a boy go off riding a dirt bike seemed much less worrisome than letting a girl go off in a car full of boys. Obviously, the fact that you were so much more a match for me intellectually made you more challenging to control. I never really felt like I knew what was going on in your mind, whereas with Tom, I believed it was always about toys, vehicles and speed. If we were reliving the past at this time in the world I would never expect Tom to put antifreeze in my Kool-Aid, while I might be a little more suspicious of the workings of your mind.
5. Is there anything you have always wanted to tell me but never have?
Not that I can think of, I think I've probably spilled my guts maybe more than I should have at times.
6. Do you think it's easier or harder to be a mother now than when you were raising our family?
Hell no. I was aware of crimes against children back then, as I was even when I was a child myself. They were usually such news, though, because they weren't happening on an hourly basis like they seem to now. I could let you go out and play in the neighborhood without being there to monitor you and didn't have to worry that you might not come back. We weren't worried about guns in school or drugs, at least not until high school. There seem to be more diseases now, more dangers in general. If you cut yourself we didn't have to wonder if flesh-eating bacteria would kill you. And there was no thought of how parents' behavior could/would affect you emotionally in childhood or as adults so it was pretty much that we were free to [do] what we wanted.
7. Is there anything you regret not having asked your parents?
I would like to know more family history. Mostly this is because I have a box of jewelry that includes a couple of lockets with photos and I don't know who the people are.
8. What's the best thing I can do for you right now?
Keep in touch. Answer the emails. Post to the blog, even if it's just stuff you did that you thought was boring. Carry your camera and use it.
9. Is there anything that you wish had been different between us--or that you would still like to change?
I wish the past had been vastly different as explained above. Nothing I would change now except the physical distance between where we live.
10. When did you realize you were no longer a child?
Well done, Momma. Though I have to tell you, I bet most of the people who know me think I turned out just fine. Not sure about Brother, though. ;0)