I am blessed beyond measure to have both of my parents actively engaged in my life. They’ve been that way for as long as I can remember.
It was only through age and experience that I learned not everyone has as rosy of a relationship with their parents as I do with mine. I do not take a single day or moment with them for granted.
Now that my own three kids span elementary school, middle school, and high school, respectively, I thought it would be the perfect time to ask my mom and dad some questions about what they thought I was like growing up.
You never know unless you ask, right? Here are their answers almost exactly as they were typed out for me by my dad. You’ll see he’s a huge fan of unnecessary punctuation…..especially…..ellipsis…..everywhere!
Question 1: What was my most dominant personality trait as far back as you can remember? How would you have described me?
Answer: You have always been a confident individual who can back up your attitude. Also, you were never afraid to experience something new…examples- singing- diving or anything.
Yes, I legitimately gave singing a shot. Anyone who has heard my epic mumbleoke performances on Q98.5’s Pat & JT Show likely just spit out their drink in disbelief.
Question 2: Did I give you the time of day when you wanted to have conversations with me?
Answer: I’d say “yes” or so it appeared so…..we used to have conversations that I thought might be helpful & you would listen…. not get much feedback from you though.
Question 3: Did you like all of my friends? How did you attempt to steer me toward certain friends and away from others?
Answer: You attended (a public school) for a few years & were exposed to some dandys & I convinced your mom that a parochial education would be your best route. There are dandys who attend both types of schools, for the record, but we were overall happy with your friends…most were pretty good kids- so we thought.
I remember being deathly afraid of an older girl who routinely bullied me at my first school. I don’t think my parents have any idea how HUGE of a relief it was for me to go to a new school. It was at the smaller parochial school where I was a fish out of water, but I loved it. I was the non-Catholic, North Omaha transfer who had to learn how to recite the entire Hail Mary and how to shorten the Lord’s Prayer (still remember what it felt like the first time I didn’t stop after the “but deliver us from evil” part).
Question 4: Was I ever scared and, if so, about what?
Answer: After you fell when bike riding & got scraped up, you were leery of trying it again. Sort of like after you fell in one of you first track meets running the hurdles….I truly believe all these years later that could’ve been your best event………..I know you hated it though……….sort of like the high jump. I think as you got older……apprehension – not necessarily ” scared “….occurred more for you. You wanted to please us- teachers- etc.
First and foremost, I did hate the hurdles and I also had a healthy distrust in my ability to ever figure out proper high jump form. Through CONSTANT encouragement from my dad (and slight badgering), I stuck with high jump and ended up winning a gold medal in all classes my senior year of high school. That singular moment remains to this day one of my most memorable athletic accomplishments. I said “peace out” to hurdles and never regretted a single day. Ha!
Also, my dad’s observation about how I began showing more apprehension as I grew older due to my desire to please authority figures, well that blew me away. How very true. Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda’s are part of every (wo)man’s life I suppose.
Question 5: When did I make you the most happy or proud?
Answer: I could go on forever on this. When you graduated with honors from Creighton University (the first in our family to graduate college since your Aunt Mary). When you brought your first report cards home, when you first started competing in organized sports ( for not only being a great competitor but also a great teammate….I think you understood at an early age how important it is in life to treat others nice & respect what they contribute. ) As a male, I was totally amazed at your athletic ability.
Your induction into the C.U. Athletic Hall of Fame was the icing on the cake as well as the Female Student Athlete of the Year Award you earned your senior year.
All your awards made us so PROUD & I’ll never forget – out of the blue…. you singing the Star Spangle banner – a cappella – before one of your high school basketball games. As it turns out, your decision to marry Ryan was the right one & I’m proud you chose a good man to spend your life with.Also you two should be commended for having some pretty darn good kids-HA.
Question 6: When did you feel the most disappointed in me?
Answer: I’ll never forget THE LOOK you would give when things didn’t fall your way…you know the pouting when you were called for a foul you didn’t think you committed. A very small disappointing phase you’d have on occasion.
I was disappointed in myself when your mom talked me into letting you go to that dance when your were 13-? you wanted to go sooo badly & I caved.
Question 7: What advice would you give me as I approach 40 years old?
Answer: Praying to God will help. Trust your instincts when tough decisions need to be made……so far you’ve done one hell of a job.Nobody has all the answers. Continue to enjoy life as much as you can……if you want to see something truly amazing -just stop by anytime to view the new sandstone pavers I put down over the weekend. The crowd has been thinning out so parking shouldn’t be a problem.
My dad: One of the kindest, funniest dudes I know. He worked his butt off this weekend beautifying the back yard while my mom was out of town. My mom: One of the most understanding, determined women to ever grace this earth. Her flower gardens would blow your mind. They are quite the pair together.
Written by Heidi Woodard
Beautiful. Your are all very fortunate to have each other. And yes, it is rare beyond rare to have that kind of relationship with both parents. I hope you have many more years together!
I asked my mom just the other night if I could video interview her this weekend for purpose of an electronic memory album of sorts. She agreed. I’m doing this because her memory is going quickly, and her time here not too long.
This was awesome Heidi, and a couple of things made me cry. Thank you.
OH! An electronic memory album is a wonderful idea. Never mean to make anyone cry, but knowing that my words (as well as my dad’s) evoked such emotion is humbling. Thank you.
This was a great idea for a blog post! Both of your parents are wonderful people who I consider myself lucky to know. Your dad’s invitation to view the pavers made me laugh out loud! Knowing him, I’m sure they are truly amazing. 😉