Today I welcome fellow historical romance author, and new YA author Sherry Thomas, to the blog. Sherry is one of the most interesting people I know, and she always makes me laugh.
In general, I do not have peanut butter on my keyboard. That’s because my children are fairly elderly, years removed from their prime peanut-butter-smearing days: Senior Kidlet is a sixteen-going-on-seventeen, Junior Kidlet twelve. (Although a couple of years ago Senior Kidlet upended a cup of eggnog on my laptop and it was a miracle nothing happened.)
In our house, Senior Kidlet and Junior Kidlet take turns being the concern child. For the past couple of years, as Senior Kidlet became a full-fledged teenager, with college looming on the horizon, he has once again become the focus of our parental handwringing and teeth-gnashing.
As we lecture him endlessly on taking initiative, taking responsibility, taking care to do things properly the first time—his problem being mainly an ingrained case of slackerism—sometimes I make myself step back and take a slightly longer view of things.
The thing is, people have short memories. For those of us who are parents, it often seems as if we have always been mature, responsible, and just plain competent at life. Some of us are—His Hawtness, my husband, might always have been mature, responsible, and just plain competent at life. Me, not so much.
Senior Kidlet has been known to let his homework slide for weeks. But I faked my entire 10th grade science project: I poured cooking wine into apple juice to pretend it had fermented into cider. My chemistry teacher suspected something, but couldn’t prove the alcohol content came from manual addition—or maybe he couldn’t quite bring himself to believe that a studious-looking Asian girl would pull that sort of con. I would say my fraudulence beats my kid’s laziness in the what-would-convince-your-parents-you-are-doomed-in-life category.
Senior Kidlet recently decided he wants to study political science and become a legislative aide. His Hawtness, an engineer by training and by vocation, could not wrap his head around that choice. Which makes me wonder what my poor mother had thought when I declared, approximately two decades ago, that I planned to become the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Senior Kidlet lost a textbook last year. I lost three textbooks my first semester in college.
He does things last minute. I only start cooking when people are already digging through the kitchen looking for food. I often finish cooking after everyone had already fed themselves with leftovers.
He can’t plan ahead. As long as I have the least bit of food in my stomach, I can’t come up with grocery lists.
He turns in stuff late. I just turned in a manuscript ten days late.
He is messy. Our house is slightly better now, but used to almost always look as if it had just been visited by a tornado.
Darn, this kid really is related to me.
One of the reasons kids don’t like high school is that you have to study everything, whether you have an interest in or a talent for the subject. Along that same line, during a kid’s teenage years is when parents nag about everything, from punctuality to personal hygiene to tidiness to how they talk and walk. We want them to do everything well.
The thing is, we can get through life very decently without ever learning to do many things well—and without ever learning to do some things at all. And after a child reaches a certain age, the role of the parents becomes that of a failsafe. Whatever else the kid still has to learn, only life will teach.
I turned out okay. It follows Senior Kidlet will also turn out okay.
PBOK Ask the Mom Questions:
Cloth or disposable diapers?
Cloth. Though for Junior Kidlet, His Hawtness forbade me from using cloth diapers at night—he remembered me crying one time, when Senior Kidlet was small, while washing diapers in the middle of the night. That darned kid pooped seven times around one feeding. Seven times!
Favorite children’s song?
The opening theme of Hana no Ko Lunlun, a Japanese anime, called Lulu, the Flower Angel in English. (Have a listen here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyHQg1MFfZ4)
Favorite kids’ book?
Anno’s Counting Book. A book without a single word, which transports and moves me in an almost nostalgic way. Perhaps it reminds me of the magically beautiful Europe of Hana no Ko Lunlun.
Most annoying kids’ TV show/character?
Used to be Barney, until the start of Elmo’s World.
Midnight or Dawn?
Middle of the day.
Sherry Thomas is one of the most acclaimed romance authors working today. Her books regularly receive starred reviews from trade publications and are frequently found on best-of-the-year lists. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.
English is Sherry’s second language—she has come a long way from the days when she made her laborious way through Rosemary Roger’s Sweet Savage Love with an English-Chinese dictionary. She enjoys digging down to the emotional core of stories. And when she is not writing, she thinks about the zen and zaniness of her profession, plays computer games with her sons, and reads as many fabulous books as she can find.
Sherry’s next book, THE BURNING SKY, volume one of her young adult fantasy trilogy, is on sale TODAY.