Recording Memories at the Wrong Stage
So, there’s this questionnaire thing going around facebook where you ask your child 23 questions about mom. I’ve read umpteen children’s responses to that questionnaire.
They are hill-air-eeee-us!
Ok, most of them have been answered by children under the age of seven.
The more I read, the more curious I got. How would MY kids answer these same questions?
My kids aren’t young enough to get away with an answer like mom was 72 when she gave birth to me and it be considered cute.
They are teenagers. Blunt. Ruthless. And don’t want to be anything like they’re mom.
It would be a dangerous thing to ask them the questions. My feelings could get seriously trampled.
1. What is something mom always says to you? Put your foot under the shopping cart.
2. What makes mom happy? Um, I don’t know.
3. What makes mom sad? When you don’t put your foot under the shopping cart.
4. How does your mom make you laugh? Her face.
5. What was your mom like as a child? Scrawny and weird.
6. How old is your mom? 42
7. How tall is your mom? 4’11”
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Pick her nose.
9. What does your mom do when you’re not around? I don’t know; I’m not around.
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Smacking a person.
11. What is your mom really good at? Nothing. No just kidding. Typing on her computer really fast while sitting in a recliner.
12. What is your mom not very good at? Not typing on the computer.
13. What does your mom do for a job? Yells at kids.
14.What is your mom’s favorite food? Spaghetti, pancakes, & syrup. Like Elf.
15.What makes you proud of your mom? I don’t know. She’s my mom.
16. If your mom were a character, who would she be? The Ferocious Beast
17. What do you and your mom do together? Ride in a car.
18. How are you and your mom the same? We have big feet.
19. How are you and your mom different? Every way other than our feet.
20. How do you know your mom loves you? Um, …she yells at me and buys me stuff. Therefore, she must love me.
21. What does your mom like most about your dad? His really loud farts.
22. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go? Her recliner.
23. How old was your Mom when you were born? 18. 19. I lied.
As answered by a 16 year old child:
1. What is something mom always says to you? Be careful.
2. What makes mom happy? Nothing. Lol.
3. What makes mom sad? What makes you sad mom? Long pause. Me? Your job?
4. How does your mom make you laugh? By singing stupid songs. By looking at her face. Oops.
5. What was your mom like as a child? I don’t know. I wasn’t there.
6. How old is your mom? 36
7. How tall is your mom? 5’11”
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Sleep
9. What does your mom do when you’re not around? Enjoys her time.
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Her looks.
11. What is your mom really good at? Yelling.
12. What is your mom not very good at? Having fun.
13. What does your mom do for a job? She’s a teacher.
14.What is your mom’s favorite food? Cheese ravioli
15.What makes you proud of your mom? Is there a pass? She’s married.
16. If your mom were a character, who would she be? Angelica
17. What do you and your mom do together? Eat at Buffalo Wild Wings and go to the dentist.
18. How are you and your mom the same? Are we the same? We can both drive a vehicle. We both have been eyes.
19. How are you and your mom different? Her hair is a different color.
20. How do you know your mom loves you? She buys me things.
21. What does your mom like most about your dad? He’s a person.
22. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go? Not to school. Um, home?
23. How old was your Mom when you were born? Am I supposed to know this? 22.
So, the long and the short of my experiment is that teenager’s answers aren’t all that different than preschool and elementary aged children!
I found myself a little disappointed by a few of the things they didn’t know about me–like my favorite place or what I’m good/not good at.
Other than that, I wasn’t outright shocked by any of their answers. I didn’t even prompt any at all. I wanted to on a few. I won’t lie. But I didn’t. I typed what they said as they said it.
It probably helped that I “interviewed” them hours apart and separately. I know it helped that they didn’t know WHY I was asking the questions. When the older child asked why, I said it was for mad libs. Hence the “pick her nose.” answer. I did take back my mad libs comment after typing that response.
How often do we see “new” things come out for baby books or memory books and wish such ideas had existed when our kids were young enough?
It happens to me all the time. Today I just decided I was going to do it anyway. Who decides when our kids stop being “cute”? Or when we stop making one kind of memory and trade them in for more grown up memories?
It’s never too late to make a memory. To record a snapshot of life.
Sure, my kids didn’t say amazing things about me being the best mother in the world, the one person they respect more than anyone else, their biggest cheerleader, their rock in the storm, but I have a sneaking suspicion that when they come across this in another twenty or thirty years one of them sends me a new set of answers.
But what if I hadn’t taken the time to ask the questions? To record the responses? To publish them in a place where my family can find them even if something were to happen to me?
A piece of our family history would be missing.
So I dare you. Ask your children. No matter how old they are. And write it down.
Come back and share your favorite (funniest, surprising, heartwarming,etc) answer with us so we can witness the recording of your family history.