Paul, a tri-athelete and man of few words, shares his thoughts about how much he cares about his mother. I hope my sons think the same of me one day. Apparently, she’s flawless!
What’s your age?
Are both of your parents living?
My genetic dad is deceased. I have 2 step dads that are alive and my mom’s alive
What’s their marital status?
Divorced and remarried
How many siblings do you have?
I have one brother. And then I have 2 half brothers, a half sister, a step sister; I don’t know them that well.
How often do you see your parents?
I see my mom a couple of times a week. I talk to her almost every day.
What are some of the ways you spend time together?
We just hang out and talk. She’ll go to my functions sometimes, we’ll eat dinner together, we’ll go walking and running. She walks and I run. She’s very supportive for all my racing and always growing up.
On a scale of one to ten, how much do you enjoy her company?
What are some of the positive aspects of your relationship with her?
I feel like she’s more than my mom—she’s my best friend. We help support each other. If we need something, we try to do it for each other. We are supportive of each others goals as well.
What are some of the negative aspects?
I don’t really see any.
What contributed to such a healthy relationship as adults?
I guess her support and always being there when I was growing up whereas my “father figures” changed. She was a consistent person in my life.
What do you appreciate most about her parenting?
She encouraged us to do a variety of things.
What do you wish she had done differently?
How well do you relate to your siblings?
My brother, pretty well. It’s kind of weird because some of the mannerisms are similar.
Do you think he shares your same reflections on your parents?
It’s pretty close. I’m probably a little tighter with my mom. He went off in the military, so his distance was greater, where mine was pretty close.
Can you share a defining moment with your mom?
There are always things you remember as examples of the quality of person that your mom is—I remember her in college, we didn’t have a lot of money. My mom didn’t get any support; she would work very hard and somehow manage to get to all my sporting events. One time, she took a train to New York City from the Midwest to see what I was doing. I’m sure it was a long journey and a strain on her financial situation, but she felt that I was worth it. I remember when I was in college and had to student teach, the place they gave me was between five and ten miles away. It was in the winter and I didn’t have a car. She took out a loan and got me a car. It was special because of how difficult it must have been for her to afford that. I worked at the school, but my money went back to the school so I didn’t get any of it. She knew I had to get around to student teaching events. If you didn’t live in my shoes, you wouldn’t know. That’s why I try to do things for her now. She doesn’t expect it—it’s that I want to.
Has anything happened in recent history with them to change how you felt about her as a child?
My maturity to develop and understand all that she did, and having a child. Realizing all the effort it took, I guess that strengthens things. I guess sometimes I’d like to do more than I can do for her. She can certainly take care of herself, but that understanding and appreciation has grown.