Things I want my children to know

1. What’s the one thing you would have done differently as a mom?

Not worry about money so much. Listened to my gut more and less to other teachers about my own kids.

2. Why did you choose to be with my father?

I liked his sister in law; he was wanting to get married; I thought he was gregarious, part of a big family and adventuresome.

3. In what ways do you think I’m like you? And not like you?

You both managed to get the best of me and Jimmy and Baba. You even managed to get the best of Jack. You are both kinder than I am; more focused; more personable; smarter about people; less cynical and less afraid. You are less judgemental and you can let go of “stuff”–not me. I have to worry and fret over it for years. I know I always say “It’s not good, it’s not bad-it just is” but I don’t mean that for ME.

4. Which one of us kids did you like the best? Ben is my favorite of all the boys and Lisi is my favorite of all the girls.

5. Is there anything you have always wanted to tell me but never have?

You don’t need to be married to be happy. You need people who get you and a dog, but not married. And just because you are sleeping with somebody? Not a good reason to get married.

6. Do you think it’s easier or harder to be a mother now than when you were raising our family?

I think it is harder because kids want to grow up so fast but it is also easier because you watched me fail at juggling everything. Lots feel by the wayside.

7. Is there anything you regret not having asked your parents?

I wish I knew more about my Da’s early years in America. And my Mom’s early years in San Francisco.

8. What’s the best thing I can do for you right now?

Call every day. If you don’t, I think you’re dead. Come over and cook for me. Spend the night so I know you’re safe

9. Is there anything that you wish had been different between us―or that you would still like to change?

I love going on road trips with you. I love it when the three of us go to San Francisco. I want to go to Catalina together. I want to go to Monterey. And I want to go home to Ireland together.

10. When did you realize you were no longer a child?

I knew it when my own mother died. That’s the last time there would be anyone in the world who always put me before herself.

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