RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Time now for Storycorps, the project traveling the country, recording your stories. Today, we hear from Sarah Avant and her 12-year-old son, Anand Hernandez. They don't often get one-on-one time because Anand has younger siblings. But when he and his mom got to spend a special week alone together, they decided to record an interview at Storycorps. Here, they talk about Sarah's divorce from Anand's dad in 2009.
SARAH AVANT: How do you think you are different because your dad and I got divorced?
ANAND HERNANDEZ: Well, I'm hoping to recover from the time of just stress. There was a lot of yelling around the house, between you and dad. And I'm not happy that you guys are divorced but, I mean, I guess there's kind of a convenience there 'cause I remember feeling really - like, oh, I don't want to make somebody look like a favorite. You know, I spend one week with dad, one week with you.
AVANT: And how do you think that will affect you, in the long run?
ANAND: I don't know. I mean, I don't see a life as a criminal. I mean, I just don't want to be one. I guess, after you guys got divorced, you know, it was hard, but it was just a lot better. Fifth grade was a lot better this year, too. So I'm hoping sixth grade - to be the diamond year, and to be perfect.
AVANT: So do think the hard time that you had in school, had a lot to do with what the environment was like at home - that we fought a lot?
ANAND: Yeah. I mean, I'm not trying to say, oh, it's all your guys' fault. But I definitely think that was a lot of the influence.
AVANT: And so what do you think it would be like to be in a family, if I got married again?
ANAND: I want you to get married, you know, because you're not getting any younger.
AVANT: Thanks. (LAUGHTER)
ANAND: Well, I'm just saying. But then again, I don't know. It would be kind of weird. I mean, no offense, but it's already hard enough dealing with you. So having a stepdad to worry about, that would be harder.
AVANT: What do you mean when you say, "worry about"?
ANAND: Well, I mean, I have to worry about - I'm meeting up to your standards.
AVANT: Well, but I don't want you to always feel like you have to make me happy.
AVANT: So if I were to remarry, what do you think the ideal situation would be like, for you?
ANAND: Well, I know this wouldn't happen, but you getting remarried to dad. But it if it were to be somebody else than dad, the ideal situation - you being happy.
AVANT: If you had one thing that you want me to remember forever, what would it be?
ANAND: After spending the week with you, and just you, probably this week. It would be really awesome, if you could remember that.
AVANT: Well, I've had a nice time with you this week. And it's been nice to be reminded that you are such a great kid.
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MONTAGNE: That's Sarah Avant, with her son Anand Hernandez; in Tri-Cities, Washington. This interview will be archived with all the others at the Library of Congress. The podcast is at npr.org.