1. What is the thing that most surprises you about being a grown-up?
When I was a kid, the part about being a grown-up that I worried about most was the financial responsibilities. I worried, even as a beginning college student, that I wouldn’t make enough money for a house, a car, etc. It’s not easy, of course, but this part of being an adult is surprisingly manageable.
2. What do you miss most about being a kid?
Friends and siblings. I miss the way we had lots of secrets and how we loved to invent new games and new worlds. I miss the unfinished basements, empty houses, and secluded hedges that were our hide-outs. I miss the protective shell of a tight group of kids who loved playing together and who always looked out for each other.
3. What do you look forward to in being a senior?
Hours and hours of reading and card games. Learning to play bridge.
4. What stories do you think your kids will tell their children that they have heard from you?
I think the way I tell stories is something Easter has already picked-up. She does dramatic character voices and exaggerated narrations that remind me of me. "The TV turns human brains to mush" is a saying I’ve already heard them quote. I hope they learn The Cheerios Mouse by heart, and tell it to their own children one day. That will make it a four generation story.
5. If you could put a children’s author and an illustrator together to work on an e-book for fifth graders, who would you choose and why? (They get to write the story and design the artwork as a team.)
Karen Hesse, who writes amazing prose and poetry, and Kadir Nelson, whose art I adore. I’d let them come up with the rest—the plot, characters, setting, etc. Although, if I could give a little direction, something connected to some piece of American History would fit the fifth grade core and would be well within the scope of both these creators’ talents.