I met 12 year-old Megan through one of my free-lance jobs. Megan is a published author! She wrote a short and beautiful historical fiction story about Japanese friendship dolls. You can read more about her and her encouraging teacher and the post WWII friendship dolls at the McHenry Chronicle website, specifically, here.
After meeting Megan, I just had to learn a little more about the incredible women in this family.
Megan’s mom is 40 year old, Nina. She says she was very blessed as a child. She knew when she had kids, she wanted to be just like her mom. Nina’s mom was a lot of fun, sorta like the Lucile Ball of the family. At the same time, her Christian faith was the bedrock upon which she built her home.
Because he was in sales, Nina’s dad moved the family around quite a bit. He worked really hard so that Nina’s mom could stay home. Nina feels she is blessed to be able to stay home with her kids, too. Nina has a brother and a sister, both live within four hours of her. When Nina was a little girl, she wanted nothing more than to be just like her big brother. She admits now, that she might have been a wee bit of a pest, but she just adored him.
Nina met her husband in 9th grade; they went to high school together. Although they went to different colleges, they stayed close and eventually married. Together they have two daughters and one son.
For Nina, the scariest thing about raising a daughter is the process of letting go. She wants to make sure her girls learn to make the little decisions along the way, so they know what’s right for them, independent of her wishes for them. Nina learned how to be a good parent from the way she was brought up. During her teen years she and her mom constantly butted heads. They would argue and shout, and the next thing her dad knew, Nina and her mom were heading out door for Dairy Queen. They fought until things got resolved. She say, ” I got pretty stubborn in high school. “Mom let us kids make messes and encouraged us with everything we did.”
Nina shares this advice her mom gave her about letting go as children develop: I would cry everytime it was time to progress to the next size of clothes for my little ones. Mom told me, ‘You will love every stage better than the last stage.’ And you know what? She’s been right.”
When Nina was a a little girl she was very adventuraous. “I’ve always been in love with life.” She also believed the rules didn’t apply as much to her.
Thirteen year old Meghan is in the 8th grade. Besides her love of writing fiction, she loves math and the color yellow because it’s cheery. She also like blue because there are so many shades of blue.
Megan’s favorite thing to do is sit down and watch TV. “It helps me decompress.” At the same time, she likes to keep busy, so she crochets when she watches television. She also likes to read. Her favorite number is 17, because she like odd numbers, and there’s no number odder than 17. There’s something about round numbers that Megan dislike them.
Megan things she looks more like her dad, but has expressions like Mom. “I really like to do things that take a long time, like Dad,” she says. She also enjoys spending time with Mom.
Every Wednesday for the last couple years, Megan’s brother and sister had choir together. Megan’s choir practice followed theirs. She and her mom went to Hobby Lobby, Barrnes and Nobles or whatever and just hung out together. “We didn’t buy anything We just looked and chatted. Although Megan likes to shop with her mom, she says she doesn’t like anything her mom likes.
When Meg grows up, she wants to be a teacher. Oh, and she wants to be just like her mom. (But maybe wear different styled clothes.)
Jenny is 10 years old and in the fifth grade. Her favorite subject is science and her favorite color is pink. “Pink cheers me up when I’m sad,” she told me. Jenny also knows a lot about Sacagawea. “There are two ways to spell the name. Sacagawea means bird-girl,” she told me. “The other spelling means boat pusher. I like birdgirl better.”
Jenny’s favorite activities are crocheting, reading, writing and watching TV. Her favorite show is “Girl Meets World.”
Jenny’s favorite number is 13 because that’s where she lands alphabetically at school.
Jenny thinks she is more like her mom than her dad The two look like clones in old photos of Nina.
Jenny says the best thing her mom does is to lead her through her toughest challenges. “Like when my toenail was loose. She helped me not feel pain, by telling jokes.”
When Jenny is a grown woman she wants to be a scientist or look exactly like her mom.
By the way, Jenny and Megan have a younger brother, too. He hung in there the whole time I interviewed the three women. Some day, I plan to interview generations of guys. According to my grandson, Mr. N, I really should do that, because the main character in my novel is a little boy. I think Mr. N is probably right.