I've always felt distant from my parents. I love them very much & want to know more about who they are, but it seems that I just find myself learning more about what they're doing instead. My father, especially, has a strong emotional barrier. I've tried to break through a few times, but when I meet with resistance, I don't push it. That's my fault, I guess.
I am most interested in who my mother is as an individual (I blogged about this on my book blog), so when I heard about Story Corps, I thought that I might have a chance at finding out more about her. I was going to try to approach her over the holidays, under the pretense of recording her story for the online project. I even created a list of questions to ask her. But in the end, I didn't do it.
I can find lots of excuses for why I didn't go through with the interview: There was never a chance for the two of us to be alone. There didn't seem to be a good window of time to be able to steal her away for an hour. But the real reason is that I was afraid of being rejected. I was afraid that she wouldn't want to answer my questions, & I was afraid that my father would ridicule the idea in front of everyone. I was afraid that everyone would think it was a stupid idea, & that it would make my mother uncomfortable.
But the reality is that even though my mother might feel uncomfortable about answering questions like: "Was Dad your first love?" or "What was your relationship like with your parents?", she would probably be flattered that I am even interested. Maybe one day I will summon the courage to make the connection.