'Why Can't We Own A Roller Coaster?' And Other Queries, Answered By A Dad When two boys get to interview their dad they start with some basic questions about his life history, but quickly get to the tough ones: "Why can't I be in charge?"
NPR logo

'Why Can't We Own A Roller Coaster?' And Other Queries, Answered By A Dad

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/526878201/527013862" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
'Why Can't We Own A Roller Coaster?' And Other Queries, Answered By A Dad

'Why Can't We Own A Roller Coaster?' And Other Queries, Answered By A Dad

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/526878201/527013862" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And it is time now for StoryCorps, giving friends and family the chance to ask each other the questions they have always wanted to ask. Today, we hear from two brothers.

ISAIAH FREDERICKS: I am Isaiah D'Angelo (ph) Fredericks. I am 9 years old.

JOSIAH FREDERICKS: Hello. My name is Josiah. My age is 7 years old.

GREENE: Isaiah D'Angelo and Josiah came to StoryCorps in Los Angeles to interview their dad, Kevin Fredericks. And they came prepared with a big list of questions.

ISAIAH: When and where were you born?

KEVIN FREDERICKS: I was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1983 on my grandmother Ruthie's bed.

ISAIAH: Interesting to know. I did not know that.

JOSIAH: How do you describe yourself as a child? Were you happy?

FREDERICKS: I was a very happy, curious child. There was a lot of playing outside in the hot sun and drinking water from hoses.

ISAIAH: You drank water out of hoses? Man, I'm learning so much new stuff about you.

JOSIAH: What's the hardest thing about being a dad?

FREDERICKS: The hardest thing about being a dad is having a drink that you want to drink, and small people put their nasty mouth all over it. And then, whatever they were eating is now in the drink, and then you don't want it any more. Or buying them food, and they don't want their food, but they want your food. You're just never satisfied.

JOSIAH: Why can't I be in charge?

ISAIAH: Because then everything would be a nightmare.

FREDERICKS: Because you are missing four teeth, and no one is going to listen to somebody who doesn't have teeth in their mouth.

JOSIAH: (Laughter) Why can't I be an animal?

FREDERICKS: You have to take that up with your Creator.

JOSIAH: Why can't we own a rollercoaster?

FREDERICKS: (Laughter) We can own a rollercoaster. We just don't.

JOSIAH: OK, then let's do. (Laughter) Why do things rhyme?

ISAIAH: How's he supposed to know that?

JOSIAH: Why can't we have a van?

FREDERICKS: Why can't we have a van? (Laughter) Why are you asking these questions? Why do you want a van?

JOSIAH: (Laughter) Why can't I be more like you?

FREDERICKS: What do you mean?

JOSIAH: I know I look like you but more like you.

FREDERICKS: Because you've got to be yourself, man. Follow your own path. And enjoy being a kid. Being an adult is not as fun as it looks. Enjoy having nothing in your pockets and no keys and somebody else being responsible for buying all your food because one day, you're going to look up and say, man, I had it so easy. Who cut the peanut butter sandwiches in your life? I did. I cut hundreds and hundreds of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Any more questions?

JOSIAH: Are you proud of me? Me, not him.

FREDERICKS: I'm very proud of you. You're both fantastic children. And I am happy and proud to be your dad.

(SOUNDBITE OF BROKE FOR FREE'S "ONLY KNOWS")

GREENE: Oh, my God. That was amazing. That was Kevin Fredericks with his sons, Isaiah D'Angelo and Josiah, at StoryCorps in Los Angeles. And that interview will be archived at the Library of Congress.

(SOUNDBITE OF BROKE FOR FREE'S "ONLY KNOWS")

Copyright © 2017 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. 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.