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Mom tells her 12-year-old son that she likes that no one dims his light

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for StoryCorps. Twelve-year-old Mason Best brought his mom, Roseann Smith, to StoryCorps at the Boys' Club of New York in Queens. He had a long list of questions for her and wasn't shy about jumping right in.

MASON BEST: What was your first impression of me?

ROSEANN SMITH: Cute.

BEST: (Laughter).

SMITH: What do you think of me as your mom?

BEST: I think you're a good mom - a little too strict, but I know it's for good reasons because you want me to be successful in life.

SMITH: If I don't push you, who's going to push you?

BEST: No one. And I understand that.

SMITH: If you can relive one day of your life, what would it be and why?

BEST: Well, I think the time me and you got into our first argument because I think we could make up better. But, you know, like, you can't go back in time and change things 'cause that would end up something else, and, you know...

SMITH: Right.

BEST: You learn that in comics. I might say something accidentally, and that could possibly affect my whole life. For example, if I...

SMITH: Why do you worry about the future so much? You're so - you're only 12. Like, some of the things that you worry about, you shouldn't.

BEST: I know, but...

SMITH: I protect you. I pay all the...

BEST: But when you're not...

SMITH: ...Bills. I just want you to be a kid.

BEST: But when you're not here, what am I supposed to do?

SMITH: Of course, you know, in 2020, I had cancer. And then I had the heart attack within six months of that. Going through those health challenges, to know that my heart is not the greatest...

BEST: Well, to me, your heart is kind of on protein powder because how strong it is and...

SMITH: Right.

BEST: Yeah, 'cause...

SMITH: 'Cause I just keep going, right?

BEST: Yeah. It's - to me, it seems like it's on protein powder. What are you looking forward to in the future?

SMITH: A long life. I want to live to see my grandkids. I hope you give me some.

BEST: You don't know if I'm very fit for love relationships.

SMITH: Let's not have this conversation.

(LAUGHTER)

BEST: You started the conversation.

SMITH: No, I didn't say...

BEST: No, but I'm just saying.

SMITH: No, but I'm just saying I just want to know that you...

BEST: Because you don't know. You don't know if I'm not - if I really want...

SMITH: You're going to - you're a great guy. So you don't want to be single. I get it.

BEST: Also, I am prepped for being independent when I grow up.

SMITH: Cool.

BEST: What's the best part of being my mom?

SMITH: Your spunkiness.

BEST: What does spunky mean exactly?

SMITH: Your outgoing personality. And I like that no one dims your light. That's what I love about being your mom.

(SOUNDBITE OF BLUE DOT SESSIONS' "LAHAINA")

MARTIN: That was Mason Best and his mother, Roseann Smith, at StoryCorps in Queens, N.Y. I'm going to cry. Their conversation will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

(SOUNDBITE OF BLUE DOT SESSIONS' "LAHAINA") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Jey Born
Julia Kirschenbaum