The Eldest

Our kids have been very much involved with our blog.  There is little that we keep from them.  They handle things well and the communication we all work so hard at has really paid off.  I’m going to be submitting something from each of the kids over the next week or so, and today, I’ll start with our eldest, Maddie.  I can’t wait for you to read what she has to say, in interview form.

1.  Why do you like books and reading so much?  Like, what does it do for your emotions, how does reading enhance your life and what kinds of books do you like to read the most and why?  You can list up to two favorites, otherwise, you’d never get to the other questions.

I love reading books because it’s like seeing a movie over and over in your head with every delicious word and scrumptious detail. When I read, my imagination takes over after a couple of sentences, allowing me to predict the next word, like “the”, “and”, and “this” for example. That’s why I read so fast, contrary to everyone’s belief that I skip pages. My imagination, (possibly my greatest quality) also allows me to go into the book and live whatever is happening, which is mostly good when I’m stressed out over some assignment that is being graded under a strict set of rules. It helps me get out of my own life, if even for a half hour. These are my two favorite readings.

Harry Potter- As the first real young adult book I ever read, it obviously holds a dear place in my book brain. It is what got me interested in all things fantastical, from wizards to vampires to the Fae (real faeries, not like the prissy Tinkerbell types). I like Hermione, because she’s literally the smartest in all of the books I’ve read and I want to be like her. At one point I even wanted to be named Hermione (my mom immediately quashed that dream by calling me Hermie).

Tithe- Holly Black is an amazing writer and her characters are so real. I mean if I was a pixie, I wouldn’t be trying to hide it. I would go somewhere I could flaunt it. It takes me to a place where no matter how hideous you are to other people, you can dance and play and rip people apart for fun (not that I want to do the last one, but technically in the land of the Fae it might be interesting). There also aren’t really any rules, which might be fun for a while.

Maddie is a candy-aholic. She wanted to make sure this picture made it into the post. They are her favorite. She eats them like chips if I let her.

2.  You’re a really good writer and you know I’m not joking.  You have written large, complicated stories before and they are better than what most college students these days could write.  How come you wouldn’t create something for this blog and requested that I do an interview format instead?

It’s harder for me to write non-fiction books because they aren’t as interesting to me, and therefore I get distracted much easier. It also takes a lot longer for me to write non-fiction unless I have prompts, like the fifth grade Writing Test. For example, you were giving me free reign over my prompts that I could have used for this blog, Mom, and it’s hard for me to make decisions without over-thinking it; I also had no specific length that I could make the blog post. It would have hurt my brain to think so hard 😛

Everyone has their fetishes in our family, and Maddie is no exception. Maddie’s is creepy though: Old Dolls. Here’s a picture she took on our latest antique store outing. Seriously disturbing.

3.  What do you remember thinking about why your dad and I were separated, since neither of us told you why for at least a couple of years?  I’m talking about before your dad came out of the closet to you.  Do you ever remember thinking it was your fault?

I just remember one positive thing: “Two Christmases!” That part was a kid’s dream-come-true, but I think I was more intelligent than that for the most part. I had already met Felipe, so I was a little worried that I wouldn’t get to see him anymore, but dad said that he would still be living with us. You and Dad had been living apart for a while already, so I suppose the crying was my little kid side, when really I was thinking, “Ok, as long as parents are in the same city then I’ll be fine.” You guys told us that it would be the same situation as it had been for about a year and a half, except there might be some moving around until we settled into a good house. I NEVER thought it was my fault, for two reasons: 1) I am the best daughter you could have asked for; and 2) You told us the second the announcement came that it wasn’t our fault. If everyone does that, kids won’t think it’s their fault at all. They might doubt it, but as long as it’s the truth, they’ll believe it at some point.

Devon, have your shotgun at the ready. It’s a good thing Felipe is a hand-to-hand combat trained Marine, ‘cuz seriously, this chick is beautiful.

4.  What is the hardest part about being one of the only of the three of you kids who remembers the most about the way we lived pre-divorce and the way we now think and live post-divorce?

I don’t know. There was a lot more fighting and yelling when you and Dad were married and going through your stuff, and even though you didn’t want us to hear it, whenever you were yelling at each-other I would hide next to the staircase wall and listen, hoping to understand why you guys fought so much. I also snuck into your room one time, like I always used to, and saw your wedding ring just lying on the bathroom counter. You never used to take that thing off, but I didn’t care so much, because you were in the shower. Now, you don’t really fight unless Dad gets annoyed at the cleanliness of something or you being “late” to various events (underwater basket-weaving competitions, for example), which isn’t so often anymore. But it’s one of those things that’s solved in a minute, an hour, or over-night; it depends on what happened.

5.  What kinds of things do you always wish you could say to your dad and I about our divorce that you’ve never said before?  We won’t get mad.  We’ll just get even.  Don’t worry.

Honestly? I wish you had told us Dad was gay instead of letting us believe what we wanted to. After about two years I sort of figured it out, but I didn’t think the other kids would understand and I didn’t understand as much as I do now, so I didn’t want to look stupid, even as a second grader. ‘Cause that never really happened (looking stupid) and I hated looking like I had done something wrong by saying something wrong. I just waited it out, and voila! I was right. Oh well, at least I learned that I have patience.

6.  Is there anything you would tell children whose parents are currently separated and going through a divorce that you wish someone would have told you during the time you experienced it?

If the divorce is amicable, then I think you’ve said everything, but even amicable separated couples should tell their kids the real reason why they’re getting divorced. If the kids won’t understand it, then put it in terms that they might. For non-amicable divorces, at least don’t fight in front of your kids; feelings towards the other person in the divorce can rub off on your kids. It’s not pretty, I’ve seen it, especially in teenagers; they become spiteful towards their other parent, especially if from an early age they’ve been told that their mom or dad is a bad person (who doesn’t really love them, who loves another family more, etc., etc.). It’s a different story if they really are a bad person, but love is something that can be accompanied by anger, spite, and even hate. That’s pretty much it.

*I can post an excerpt from one of my stories at some point if anyone wants me to (post in comments, all caps STORY)

Well, there you have it.  Do you see why I love my kids so much?  I know that it would actually mean a lot to her if you wrote a brief comment below this blog.  Every kid loves feedback.

Stay tuned for the next blog over the next couple of days, to hear from my unique and well-spoken middle daughter.  It should be a hoot.

Blessings and Perfect Children,

Emily and Devon

Maddie has a fetish with Nutcrackers as well. The collection has grown out of control and it’s starting to get super creepy. It’s awesome that she likes Nutcrackers because ironically, she has a severe peanut/tree nut allergy.


16 thoughts on “The Eldest

  1. Maddie, you are so wise. You know, I wish you guys could talk more with Titus. Between the three Reese’s pieces and Titus, I think you could teach a lot of divorced grown ups how to be wonderful people. I’m excited to get to know your mind more, ahem, like how it expresses itself in a STORY!

    Love you, sugar-freak! Mwha!

  2. I loved that Maddie! You are probably the “smartest” young woman I have ever met!!! (and prettiest) and you are right…..having two christmas’s is the best thing a kid could wish for 🙂 you don’t realize it yet, but but you, Kate & Thomas are all VERY lucky to have parents that have communicated with pure HONESTY with you through this “scary”, “un-controllable”, sometimes “confusing” yet REAL (even though you sometimes don’t want it to be, but it just IS) “life changing” experience! They could have chosen to not include you in EVERY truth about the situation, or what they chose to do……be COMPLETY HONEST & include the three of you in ALL of it, even the not so pretty parts of it! You will have no emotional hang-up’s or baggage that so many people in life now do, due to parents NASTY divorces and in capability to communicate with the children and carry resentment towards each other. You will now be able to have happy, healthy relationships, and have your parents to thank for that!!!!! You really are a LUCKY GIRL!!!! Great job on the writing, I’m a little worried now when your mother reads this & critiques my grammatical errors (you’re even better than me AT YOUR AGE!) LOL….you go girl 🙂

    • Hi, it’s Maddie. Thank you for your insight and kind words. I agree, I (at least I hope) won’t be a bitter adult, and I also hope to help people when I grow up. I do believe that my life is great, as many bad things that have happened. I hope everyone will view their own lives as a blessing as well.

  3. Thank you so much, Maddie, for sharing your story. You are an amazingly intelligent girl and I am so impressed. Oh, and I also have a nutcracker collection. 🙂

    • Thanks, D. I would like to write more at some point, but wait ’til you here from my siblings, they’re a hoot. Thank you for your kind words. I would love to see your nutcracker collection sometime 🙂

  4. Well, Maddie: It certainly seems like your sense of humor coupled with amazing intelligence AND good looks makes you a chip off the ol’ block. Actually, two ol’ blocks, because both of your parents are pretty spectacular beings…

    (And yes, I just called them both “Ol’ blocks.” Oops.) 😉

    This post is titled “The Eldest,” but I think a more appropriate title would have been “Maddie the Wise.” You seem to have an amazing sense of perspective and a true gift for communication. Congrats, and know that many of us who are friends of your parents are watching you and your siblings grow up so beautifully — and we’re all cheering you on along the way! 🙂

    • Maddie here. I think it’s funny that you think the title should be “Maddie the Wise” when I’m just writing what I usually do. My parents are pretty fantastic (haha, “ol’ blocks”). Anyway, thanks for your support and I might read your blog sometime soon.

      • Uh, Mikalee, do you think I should let her? I mean, she’s already been allowed to read our blog. I don’t need her any more violated than she already is…

  5. Hi Emily and Maddie. Wonderful post, Maddie. You sound all grown up. Your answers were very insightful to some very thoughtful questions. I’m happy you were able to share so openly. My feeling is that your parents love you so much and that’s the key. Their happiness will be even more important to your when you’re older. Knowing that your parents are happy will be a very positive thing for your life. Keep reading those books. I’d love to see one of your stories here!

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