As I reflect on my childhood, I wish my mother had invested in something outside of me that stimulated her mind and diverted her attention elsewhere. It was nigh impossible to establish separateness, and it nearly drove me crazy. Before kids, I knew I would need something to give me purpose outside of my role as a mother. Now that I am a mother, I experience a mild desperation to stay on top of mothering and nurturing. I’m confident when my at-home mothering days come to an end, God will lead me toward a new adventure. Until then, I must steward my own spirit and mind to be ready, because the task at hand will not always be so. My interview with Buck reminded of this. It also reminded me of the many times I wanted to just hit my mom! I didn’t, but I’m sure you all can relate. For that matter, I’m sure my own kids can relate.
What’s your age:
Are both of your parents living?
No. Father is deceased, mother is living.
What’s their marital status?
Divorced when he passed away.
How many siblings do you have?
How often do you see your parents?
Once a month.
What are some of the ways you spend time together?
Art projects, sitting on the porch, talking.
On a scale of one to ten, how much do you enjoy their company?
Depends on what kind of crazy mood Mom’s in, probably a 6. I didn’t spend any time with my dad when he was alive. I saw him probably twice a year.
What are some of the positive aspects of your relationship with them?
None for my dad. She allowed us to be who we wanted to be and pursue our own decisions and choices.
What are some of the negative aspects of your relationship with them?
We have such similar personalities that I’ll get on her nerves and she’ll get on mine. Just saying something that allows me to be hostile. She’ll say something.
Which is weightier, the positive or negative?
I think I feel kind of neutral.
What aspects contributed to your current relationships as adults?
There was very little parenting. I pretty much had to raise myself my whole life. I just grew up early. If I were a parent I would do things totally differently.
For my dad, I think it would have been not forcing me to emulate or be him. Not to live his lost youth through me. For mom, to have had a stronger sense of value for herself. She allowed other people to influence her in negative ways and she didn’t value herself and the things that she does. It’s influenced me as well, even though I come across as a confident masuline man, I still have issues finding value in myself.
How well do you relate to your siblings?
We don’t. There’s a 20 year difference in our ages.
Do you think they share your same reflections on your parents?
I don’t know if they would say that necessarily. My closest brother in age had a different relationship with my father. Maturity will change you, and I’m sure at some point he recognized that he would ultimately do things differently within his family dynamics, with his own children.
Can you share a defining moment with your parents?
Growing up in a very abusive relationship and my father being an alcoholic, after they divorced when I was 16, we had moved and my dad decided to come over. Of course, he was drunk. He pulled out a gun and was going to shoot my mother. I stepped in between them and hit him. I think that’s one of the first times I ever hit someone. I think it shocked and surprised him as well. He left us alone in that point and time. For me that was enough to realize that I wanted to live my life differently. I’m better equipped to recognize and make a change.
With mom, because she’s still living, the only one that comes to mind is being around 10 or 11, and she’d just started doing hair. She’d been to a hair show and won a trophy that was as tall as me. That was a defining moment that [doing] hair would be a major part of my life. Because I saw my mom, despite all the home environment, she rose above and I could see it in her face that she felt value in herself. It was short lived, though.
Has anything happened in recent history with them to change how you felt about them as a child?
None that I can think of because I’ve had to become the supporter and parent in the end. I still do that, the role reversal causes you to see things a little differently. I’m still doing that.