Day 5: #ThinkKit: Interview at least one other person about their favorite moments of the year. Why were these moments important? Were they major events, a particularly memorable minute, or somewhere in-between? Share what you heard.
When asked about favorite moments in life, most adults will cite the obvious adult answers. When I got married. The birth of my child. The time when I finally got the job or promotion I wanted. You know… adult things. So after thinking about today’s #ThinkKit prompt and various adults I could interview, I thought how cool it would be to interview my niece and her sons, ages 9 and 5. Please note that when interviewing children: be prepared for anything. They are not going to give you the answers you may have already formulated in your head. They don’t make the story grander than it is. It is so innocently pure. They are beautifully honest.
So first, about my niece: (and let me preface by saying that I am slightly biased in that I believe all 6 of my nieces are fabulous.) Nikki had been a stay at home mom with her two boys and this year her youngest was starting kindergarten. When I asked about her most memorable moment, she paused briefly to think before pinpointing her “moment” with her return to teaching this year. She started back with a position teaching the 4th grade. “It was not near as overwhelming as I thought it would be and at the time, so much more rewarding than I ever expected.” When I asked her how it made her feel to go back to work and her profession, she modestly said “it made me proud of myself. I felt successful and that I was helping out my family at least financially.” Knowing her as I do, I could hear the smile on her face through the phone. Accomplishments can do that to a person. “It’s not just a job. Connecting with kids, they connect with your heart. I want to be at my very best all the time because I know I have 28 little souls that depend on me to be my best.”
Hand in hand with a return to work, Nikki also got to walk her youngest son to his first day in kindergarten. This is a memory for any parent that no matter how old you become, you can transform yourself there and feel the tears start to form in your eyes. Nikki is no different and as she said her first word, her voice softened and the tears welled up. “Being home and watching them grow up… and now all three of us are going to school together. Working there now and walking him down to class was such closure for me and a new chapter for all of us.”
Unlike his mom, my 9 year old nephew Gavin was not as sure at first of his favorite memory from this year. When asked, did you have a special moment or memory that you can think of? He simply stated, ”no”. I remind myself, Ann, remember, this is a kid…. So same question in 9 year old language: did you do something this past year that was so cool that you’ll never forget it? “Oh yeah! It was winning the championship in basketball.” Okay, now I was getting somewhere. Me: So how did it make you feel? “It made me really happy. I scored 8 points but it should have been 10. I got pushed in the back and the ref called me for travelling so I should have had 10 points. We won anyway and at the end of the game we all lined up, gave high fives and said good game. We HAVE to do that. Then we were presented trophies” Me: what makes you remember that win? “I have the trophy in my room. It’s all sparkly on one side and a gold basketball player on top. When I look at it, I think I’m awesome”. And guess what? He is awesome.
So to round out the evening, my next interviewee was my 5 year old nephew. Did you ever watch the Art Linkletter show that always had kids saying pretty much the most out there, off topic, and irrelevant answers to the questions they were asked? Well, this was pretty much following suit. The one thing I had going for me was I remembered the age I was interviewing and was prepared with my questions. So Evan, what was the funnest thing you did this year? “VIDEO GAMES!!!” Me: Video games? That was the most funnest thing you did over the summer or any other time? “It’s winter now, why are you asking about summer stuff when it’s winter?” Me: yes, I know it’s winter now but I just thought maybe you did something fun over the summer that was more fun than video games. Evan: “video games are fun but not as much as the ocean”. Okay, now I was getting somewhere so I was not about to lose any momentum. Me: What about the ocean was so fun? Evan: You know, going in there with the things and stuff.” Apparently I missed things and stuff at the ocean even though I was on this vacation with him. Me: Things and stuff??? “You know, Aunt Ann, the boogie boards and riding the waves.” Yep, I know exactly what you mean, Evan, and all of a sudden I am transformed into a little kid remembering my own favorite moments in my life on that same beach he is referring. Back to topic. Me: what makes the waves so fun? “well, the waves come and they make you go higher. It’s cool. You know. You were there!” Again, yes, Evan, I do know. Holding back my laughter, I thanked him for his interview. “you wanna talk to my mom now?”
If there is a moral to this exercise it’s that it doesn’t matter what age you are. Recalling a favorite moment will elicit the same passion, pride, and enthusiasm whether you are an adult or a child. And I’m pretty sure I know two boys who, after our interview, believe that I’m even crazier than previously thought.