She Agreed to be Interviewed by Her Daughter (Is She Crazy?!)


I’ll leave it to you to decide who’s crazy.  My daughter for writing the following questions, or me for answering them!

You may have noticed that this “interview” thing is the “flavor of the month” going around blogs right now, and I have to say I find them interesting — when someone else does them.  But, when DD suggested she and I interview each other, I had reservations.  Sure, I knew I could come up with sweet questions for her that would put her in the best light possible (because that’s just my sweet nature! smile), but what kind of crazy, embarrassing questions would she come up with for me?! 

Well, we’ve now exchanged lists of questions and I guess these aren’t too bad.  By the way, if you would like to read the questions I gave her, and her responses, go to her blog, Chased by Children.

So, here goes, for what it’s worth.

1.  You are the youngest of five children, and younger by quite a margin.  Your closest sibling was 13 when you were born.  What’s your theory about why this was good or bad for you?

the-five-reeds-001   Easter 1948Me and “the big people” who were my siblings.

I’ve always said, I was “raised by committee” in my early years.  There was always someone supervising me, making sure I was safe and didn’t do anything wrong.  I guess that was both the good and bad of it. 

It was good because I was surrounded by love … 

 … interspersed with an occasional swat when I chased the cat and dragged him out from under the dining room table by whatever part of him I could reach. 

me-and-cat-1a  It was a little harder to corner him in the wide open spaces of the backyard, but for a short, fat kid I must have been pretty agile because I appear to be closing in on him! (It looks like we may be making eye contact here.  I wonder what he was thinking.  Any ideas?)

… and it was bad because I didn’t really have siblings — I just had alot of “big people” around.  I think it made it harder for me to raise my own children, because I didn’t have any experience with the normal sibling relationships.  And, btw, it may have been bad too that I was possibly, just a teensy bit, spoiled

2.  You lived in a boarding house (that your mother ran) when you were a small child.  Do you think that affected your view of the world?  Was the boarding house a positive or negative influence on you?

Actually “boarding house” is probably too grand a word for our situation.  In reality, to make a little extra money, Mama rented out the extra bedrooms in our big, old house, mostly to students at a near-by college — no meals (like they furnish in real “boarding houses”), just a sleeping room and sharing a bathroom with those family members who slept upstairs too. 

With a big house full of  two extremely tired and busy parents, four teenagers very busy being teenagers (with one or two drama queens in the mix), one short spoiled little kid, fun-loving Uncle Jim who lived with us for a while, an (understandably) skittish, will-jump-out-at-you-in-the-dark cat, and whatever “roomers” we currently had, it was a great atmosphere.  There was always something going on.  For me, having all those extra people around just added to the group of “big people” who babied me — all good in my view.  (btw, I always found it interesting that this is the time in my mother’s life she always said she most enjoyed, even though it was also the time when she worked the hardest.) 

It was a reality check when I was nine, my siblings had all left home,  and my parents and I moved far away from everything and everyone we knew.  That was when I quickly learned the whole world did not adore me! 

Do you think you’d like to do something similar now?  possibly with your daughter and her daughters living with you?  This is a great idea. 

 I would be open to having my daughter and her daughters live with us, but I think my daughter wouldn’t think it was such a “great idea” when I started giving her chores to do, and told her to clean her room! 

3.  When did you first realize I was different than other kids?  Was it right away or did it set in slowly like the dawning of a terrible realization?

jen-in-highchaira  I know this is a poor-quality polaroid picture, but it says so much about your personality that was demonstrated early.  I think most little babies seem kind of “poured” into their high chairs, all soft and cuddly, laying over to the side and kind of curled up in the seat.  But, if this baby doesn’t look like she’s ready for anything, including giving an inpromptu performance for the next person who walks through the door, I don’t know who does!  This shows a couple of the first things I noticed about your personality.  When you sat in your high chair, you liked to sit straight up and have your legs s.t.r.a.i.g.h.t  o.u.t.  Your whole body was “wired”, ready for action.  That told me that you were a Type A personality and would probably always have trouble just relaxing!  And also, that you were always going to be ready to entertain!

When we had the first parent/teacher conference with your first grade teacher, she said that you were definitely a leader (I don’t remember her saying “bossy”  but she may have)! 

jen-in-braids   In first grade when you first experimented with “leading.”

We hadn’t particularly noticed that leadership trait at home yet, but once we started looking for it it soon became apparent you were demonstrating it in how you were “managing” your little cousins.  Of course, your older brother, Gunny, didn’t encourage this trait in you either, because he didn’t really even like Dad and me “leading” him, so he in no way wanted you to think you could lead him!  (I imagine it made you a stronger person that you grew up in a family where everyone wanted to lead at least part of the time, even the dog!)

4.  You met my father, your husband of many decades, when you were 14 years old.  What do you think is the main reason that the two of you have had such a successful marriage?  

Actually, I was 15, but still verrrry young, when we met.  Obviously, at that age, I didn’t have a clue what traits to look for in a person to spend the rest of my life with, but I do remember being impressed right off the bat with how respectfully he spoke about his parents. 

I believe there are three reasons we have had a “successful” marriage:  We married young but we grew up for a couple years together before we had our first child, Gunny.  We share and have grown in our faith together.  We can still make each other laugh.

You really should write a book…maybe this answer can be the foreward.

I have always been intrigued by the idea of writing a book, but I don’t picture it being about marriage.  I picture writing my favorite kind of book — a mystery!

5.  Can you point to a single moment when you realized that I was your favorite child?  Was it because Gunny refused to wear shorts even in 100 degree weather?  Was it because his head is so oddly shaped? 

  our-family-in-the-seventies-002   I show this picture for two reasons — to show that Gunny did, in fact, prefer jeans to shorts when he was little, and that his head was not then, nor has it ever been, mis-shapen. 

I believe you really did think you had to compete with Gunny to be our favorite child when you were little.  But I’m sure, now that you have three daughters of your own, you understand that, truly, each of them is your “favorite” in a different way, just as it was for us with you and Gunny.

Was it because he pushed me down the stairs when I was 2?  

I’m sure Gunny would want me to say, in his defense, that there were no actual eye witnesses to the alleged push.  He always contended he was just an innocent bystander.

Was it because his taste in music was always bad (Def Leopard??)?   discuss….

When you were teenagers, he was our “rebel,” and you were our rule follower.  He liked Def Leopard, you liked Christian music.  He liked soda pop and chips, you liked milk and vegetables.   He never saw a reason he had to get home by the “exact time” of curfew, you were always home by curfew or called.

You were both interesting children to raise, but I wouldn’t have chosen any other two children in the whole world to be mine.

Thank you, daughter of mine, for asking questions that I could answer without having to reveal any deep, dark family secrets.  (I can’t remember what those are anyway!)

Love, Mom

17 Responses to She Agreed to be Interviewed by Her Daughter (Is She Crazy?!)

  1. Great answers. I love the pictures. I can’t believe you don’t want to admit that I am your favorite.

  2. Liz says:

    This was a lot of fun to read!

  3. Sandra says:

    Jen — Ha! Ha! I’m glad you enjoyed my answers and pictures. 🙂

    Liz — Good! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. meandmom says:

    Hi Sandra, I’ve been following Jenny’s blog for about a month and am a big fan of your lovely daughter. Thanks for sharing some of your memories and especially the pictures!

  5. Beth says:

    What great answers! I really enjoy the fun dialogue you have with your daughter.

  6. Sandra says:

    meandmom — I’m glad you’re following Jen. She can use all the support she can get right now. Thanks!

    Beth — Most of the time, it is fun to be her mom! 🙂

  7. Hilary says:

    What fun. I love the comfy interaction the two of you share. It truly felt more like a back and forth dialog. I wouldn’t dare try this with my kidlets. 😉

  8. Sandra says:

    Hilary — As I said at the beginning, I was a little reluctant too, but I thought, in the end, it worked out well. Did you go over to her blog and read her answers to my questions? I just loved the memories she had of our mothers. This turned out to be alot of fun for both of us. Thanks for enjoying it with us. 🙂

  9. Lyndsay says:

    I can’t believe you were reluctant to answer 🙂

    What a wonderful interview.

    I have a brother 14 years younger and we were always more his second set of parents than his siblings … we joke that is why he is so smart; he was raised amongts adults, not children!

  10. Sandra says:

    Lyndsay — I know, it seems silly now, but I WAS nervous.

    I like that idea about your brother being smart — I think I’ll start telling people that that’s the reason I’M so smart! 🙂 It really is true, that I spent alot more time around adults than most kids did.

  11. Barb says:

    A book? Great idea…I would make a book of all your blogs! I’m sure it would sell.

    I have been enjoying Jenny’s blog also…what a great ‘kid’ you have there. Sometimes you just want to reach out and hug her.

  12. Sandra says:

    Oh, Barb, what an encourager you are. Thanks.

    And I’m glad you’re reading Jen’s blog too. She needs all the verbal hugs she can get right now.

  13. Loved this. It made me feel like I was with the two of you; laughing. Sweet. Funny. Heart-warming. Great questions, and I love your daughter’s sense of humor (and he shape of her head.) heehee

  14. cathy says:

    I loved the interview. Funny! Thanks for the laughs

  15. Sandra says:

    HPKT — I’m touched that you said it made you feel like you were WITH us. People always said that when they received a letter from Mama, it was like sitting at the kitchen tabale, having a chat with her. So, it touches me that maybe Jen and I have inherited a little of that “talent.”

    Cathy — I’m glad if we made you laugh. We would be laughing too, if it wasn’t all true! 🙂

  16. What a great post. It sounds like you have a really warm and loving family. And your daughter has a great sense of humor; you can tell that just by reading her questions! 🙂

  17. Sandra says:

    Lynn — Yes, she’s a quick wit — sometimes it’s hard to keep up with her. This was fun to do. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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