Last week I saw that A Wrung Sponge was doing this interview meme and, always being one to keep the meme alive, I said I’d play. She had answered questions written for her by a Repressed Librarian, and she wrote these for me. Watch out. They’re deep.
1. What is the thing that most surprises you about being a grown-up?
The amazing, unlimited capacity to love my kids. It’s an experience of love that can’t be compared to anything else. Not loving your parents, your partner, and most certainly not your dog. Those are all wonderful things, but loving your children is watching them grow and change and develop, under your guidance. It’s knowing you’d kill or die for them. It’s experiencing childhood again, but with perspective. It’s giving them the last double-chocolate chip cookie. Well, sometimes.
2. What do you miss most about being a kid?
My kid body. I don’t mean my hot teenage body though I wouldn’t mind having that waistline again but the freedom of a body that does everything you ask it without complaint. Really, the freedom of taking your body for granted. Now, even in my (let’s say) mid-thirties, I’m so conscious of my physical self. I get out of bed, and my back hurts. I drop a fork under the table, and I groan while reaching for it. And let’s not even talk about the Slip-and-Slide...
3. What do you look forward to in being a senior?
Time, time, time. I’m so frustrated with having so many things that I want to do and not nearly enough time to do them. I do the things I have to do now, and save the rest. Like I have to be my daughter’s Girl Scout leader now, even if I don’t really have the extra time. But she’s not going need a troop leader when she’s thirty-six and I finally have the time. So I put off a bunch of things I’d love to do travel, paint, write a book to focus on what’s in front of me. It’s just a shame that what’s most clearly in front of me is yesterday’s dinner plates, two weeks’ worth of laundry, and a ten-year collection of Happy Meal toys.
4. What stories do you think your kids will tell their children that they have heard from you?
Since I’ve drilled it into their little brains so much, the story of their differences. I believe that the worst thing about a person is often the best thing about them turned around. My seven-year-old is stubborn and argumentative. However, no one will ever push her around. My ten-year-old worries about everything, especially social norms. However, she has lots of friends because she adapts so easily. I tell them what great luck it is that they are sisters, because all their lives they’ll be able to help each other understand another perspective. Or they’ll kill each other. Either one.
5. If you could put a children’s author and an illustrator together to work on an e-book for fifth graders, who would you choose and why? (They get to write the story and design the artwork as a team.)
This is a very specific question. Are you working on a project? Anyway, after a lot of thought, I’d put together Louis Sachar and Kadir Nelson. What’d I’d like to see is a great story featuring African-American children, but not about civil rights or slavery or prejudice. I think it’s important to have books that talk about the culture and struggles of Black Americans, but that it’s also important that we have books that don’t make color the complete focus. And poor Kadir Nelson needs to get locked into a project before a picture book is written by Chris Rock.
If you want to do the meme, let me know in the comments. I’ll come up with five questions that you can answer on your own blog.