Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday Scribblings: Interview

My parents and me at my grad school graduation.

I don't know what prompted me to check out Sunday Scribblings just now, but I'm glad I did. The topic is interview, and immediately I thought of a project I have been meaning to do for ages, but that I keep backing away from. I want to interview my parents, on tape, about their childhoods. My dad grew up in Germany during WWII, so clearly he has a lot of important stories that should be recorded. My mom had a less historically significant childhood, but one that I am personally curious about none the less.

Also, I think back to these tapes my brothers and I made of my grandparents when we were kids. Sometimes we would press "record" without telling them, and capture snippits of fights or conversations about mundane details of life, like what's for dinner. After they died, being able to listen to their voices was such a gift for all of us.

I think I shy away from doing this because my family is not a particularly touchy feely one. We don't talk about emotions, or even what's important to us as much as I wish we did. So it's scary. It feels like I'm taking a sailboat into emotionally choppy waters with a crew that has never experiences those waves before.

But as scary as it is, I know it's something I will regret if I don't do. I promise, with this blog as my witness, to get recordings made over the holidays. Best Blogger Tips


Granny Smith said...

I agree that this is an important project. When my father-in-law was dying of leukemia but still bright and alert, one of husband' brother's brought a tape recorder to the hospital. He didn't exactly conduct an interview. My father-in-law was anxious to share the experiences of his life and just kept talking.

Good luck at interviewing your parents. I predict that they will be flattered.

Elspeth said...

That's a great idea.