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Monday, February 9, 2015

Getting to Know You: The Proust Questionnaire

Much like I did with my 30 Things My Son Should Know About Me series, I am writing this in effort to open myself to my son. The other day he told me, "You always get me, Mama." I swooned. That he feels understood sends me over the moon. That's one of my greatest goals as a parent. He seems to always get me, as well. Four years into this relationship and I think we know each other quite well. I'm proud of that. I offer this to continue that.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

You.  You're it.  You're my happy.  No, you don't make me happy any more than you make me feel anything else, but I choose to see the happy in you every day and I am better off for it.

2. What is your greatest fear?

Being away from you.  Either losing you or being lost to you.  After recovering from our traumatic birth and the subsequent postpartum anxiety, I can control this fear in myself, but am not certain I'll ever truly be over it.

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My critical nature.  It's foul, it's far too prevalent, and it's something I work on all the time.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?


5. Which living person do you most admire?

You.  100%.

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

Recently, it was getting your dad a car.  Yes, it was a used car for a screamin' deal and no, it wasn't extravagant by most others' standards, but we lived for almost four years with just one car, so getting another just so that we could have the freedom to go to store or the museum or soccer practice was a big deal for us. 

7. What is your current state of mind?

Myopically, I'm irritable, because of my allergies, but overall, I'm feeling quite content.  We're all happy, healthy, safe, and together, so all is right in my world.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Purity.  What a crock.

9. On what occasion do you lie?

If I don't want to attend an event.  Otherwise, I don't lie and I simply refuse to lie to you.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I am happier with my body now than I have ever been, which is ironic, because most are of the opinion that I look the worst now than I ever have.  There's no accounting for taste, I suppose.

11. Which living person do you most despise?

My father-in-law.

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?


13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?


14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Dude, 8000, and oh my word.

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

You, my sweet son.

16. When and where were you happiest?

Pick a time in the last four years.  Where?  With you.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?

Play the acoustic guitar like a pro.

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

See #3.  Wouldn't that be everyone's answer?

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Becoming a better parent than my examples.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Probably a burrito.

21. Where would you most like to live?

Wherever you are, but if you're there with me, I'd like to live in either the Pacific Northwest or back home in Yucaipa, California.  I miss home and I love weather.  The desert is not for me, but your grandparents are here and I could never tear them away from you.

22. What is your most treasured possession?

My pictures.  So many pictures.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?


24. What is your favorite occupation?

High school teacher.

25. What is your most marked characteristic?

Physical?  My hair.  Otherwise?  My laugh.

26. What do you most value in your friends?

Nearly unconditional love.

27. Who are your favorite writers?

John Steinbeck, Octavia Butler, Joanne Harris, J.K. Rowling, Byrd Baylor

28. Who is your hero of fiction?

Atticus Finch.  

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Laura Ingalls Wilder.

30. Who are your heroes in real life?

You, Grandma Bray, Bailey, your dad.

31. What are your favorite names?

Yours, mine, Ellison, Kate, Toby

32. What is it that you most dislike?

Grody vegetables.

33. What is your greatest regret?

Calling my brother stupid when we were kids.

34. How would you like to die?

Peacefully, in my sleep, after having the forethought to tell you one last time how much I love you to the best of my ability given the limitations of the English language.

35. What is your motto?

Do what's right, not what's easy.

If you're reading this and you're not my son, no, you're not the intended audience, but I hope it inspires you to do the same for your child(ren). Think of all the good that can come from knowing each other better. Go, reflect, write, share, be open and honest, grow closer. Enjoy!

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