Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Pam hit me with five questions. After reading her articulate responses to her five questions, I'm a bit concerned. But I'll give it a go.

1. What is the biggest parenting "mistake" you have ever made and how did you handle it after you realized it was a mistake?

Nice way to start off easy.

Upon pondering this question for the last three hours, I'm still at a loss. There are many little mistakes we make all the time. And some miscalculations wind up working out well. My biggest frustration is the television/computer/video game thing. We never set limits on their "screen" time when they were younger, and now it seems like it's too late to make stricter rules. I haven't figured out the right answer yet, but am very open to suggestions.

The other issue that I'm not sure how to resolve is my son's dependence on his sister. He's incredibly socially dependent on her. She's his best friend. He mopes when she's not around. And he has difficulty making and maintaining his own friendships. Honestly, he'd rather hang out with her (and her friends) than anyone else. This worked out great when the kids were preschoolers, but it's not working so well anymore, and it's likely to get ugly soon. She's becoming a full-on tween, and her little brother isn't completing her world by any means. Again, I'd love some help with this.

2. How did having children change your marriage? How do you and your husband deal with the stresses of everyday life with kids?

It cemented it. Without kids, we could have split up if the going got tough. Because there wouldn't have been major consequences. But now we have much more at stake, so we're both ready, willing, and able to do what it takes to make our marriage work.

Coping with stress? Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha. Hmmm. I don't suppose that "drinking" is a good answer, right? We both exercise at least half an hour a day, and I don't hesitate to grab the dogs and their leashes and head outside if I need a break (from him OR from the kids). And I also clean the kitchen when I'm stressed. (I had a therapist recommend that one; it's much safer and healthier than throwing chairs.)

I wish I could say we have weekly date nights, but we don't. We get several weeks in the summer, however, and that sure helps. We get to act young and carefree. But we both really like the kids as much as we love them, and that makes life so much more pleasant.

3. Through the miracle of science, you can pick ONE attribute (kindness, toughness, pity, etc), and forever embed that attribute in your children. Please explain why they would be best served with this attribute all of their live vs all others.

Resourcefulness. It's so much more useful to be able to find/get/create what you need than to know everything. I'd rather have the skill of being able to locate useful information than a talent like a great memory or incredible intelligence. Because who cares if you remember the directions to some remote town in Alabama if you can just look it up online anyway?

4. You seem to be a very self-assured person. What childhood event(s) helped shape who you are today? Who was/were your role model(s)?

Moving around so much (Seven states, one other country, never staying somewhere more than 3 years) shaped who I am more than anything. I learned, quickly, how to size up a situation and see how I could fit. As a result, I have an easy time merging into groups. The downside is that I didn't get much practice in making relationships (friendships, especially) last more than a few years. I'm fortunate that I sorted it out, and I have a couple of good, long-term friends who mean the world to me. All that moving had another result: I committed myself to Memphis when I moved here, and I shall not be moved. I've lived here more than half my life and honestly cannot imagine living anywhere else. Despite its problems (and there are many), Memphis offers a quality of life that I really enjoy. Just enough cultural events, loads of diverse people, plenty of great food, and easy-to-navigate. Perfect.

Role models? My mom is an obvious one. While my lifestyle is quite different from hers when she was in the same stage of parenting, her values and mine are very similar. She sowed seeds of peacemaking and strong family loyalty, which I try to bring to fruit in my own family.

But there were other important adults. A few teachers stand out as being influential. A few of my parents' friends. People from church. And I keep meeting more.

5. If you could sit across from G.W. Bush and have a "conversation" with him, what would you say? How do you think he would respond?

I doubt I could say anything that would make sense to him. But if I could give him a magic pill that would open (and strengthen) his mind sufficiently to comprehend my point of view, I'd tell him what I most firmly believe: all our policy, all our actions, all we do, must pass the test. "Will it help the children of our world, or will it hurt them?" I daresay that much of the current administration's "accomplishments" would not pass that test. And his response? Have you read The Bush Dyslexicon? 'Nuff said.

Do YOU want to be interviewed?

Interview rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


kalisah said...


Good one.

Pam said...

What AWESOME answers. Can I change some of mine now? ;-)

Thanks for playing along.

24Independent said...

okay, interview me. Please please please. I need a kick in the butt to get my blog back on track after being away so long...yawn

Still tired.


Anonymous said...

oops. wrong. I am not this name above. You know who I am.