“What was going through your head when you first saw me?”
StoryCorps is probably the only place you’ll hear a 9-year-old conduct an interview on a national radio program. That’s what happened when a fourth grader named Aidan Sykes sat down with his father, 31-year-old Albert Sykes, who runs an education nonprofit and mentors kids who are struggling in school.
At a StoryCorps mobile booth in Jackson, Mississippi, Aidan asked all the questions.
When someone makes a StoryCorps interview, they’ll usually talk about the most important people in their lives, remember the best and worst moments they’ve lived through, and pass on wisdom they’ve gleaned over the years. So it comes as no surprise that memories of parents are often the star of the show. Our facilitators tell us that even people who are 100 years old spend time remembering — and often crying about — their mothers and fathers.
Many StoryCorps conversations start with reflections on what’s often our first and most consequential bond — with Mom. We featured a few of these stories in our 2010 book, A Celebration of Mothers From StoryCorps, and a few weeks ago you heard a conversation with my own mom, the incredible Jane Isay. She’s put up with a lot over the years, and has great life advice to share as a result.
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