Teenage Diaries Revisited: Mother And Son Listen To The Past | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Teenage Diaries Revisited: Mother And Son Listen To The Past

Name: Melissa Rodriguez

Hometown: New Haven, Conn.

Current city: Orange, N.J.

Occupation: Customer service representative

Then:

"I just started my life. I just started to go to school, I just started working, and I just didn't have anything settled yet."

In 1996, after 12 years living in the foster care system, Melissa recorded a diary about getting pregnant and becoming a mother. She was trying to straddle life as a teenager with the coming responsibilities of parenthood. When Issaiah was born, she struggled to create a more stable family than she'd experienced as a child. "I'm the keeper," she said. "When I hold him, I just feel, you know, important to him."

Now:

Melissa's son is a teenager. She and Issaiah have faced many challenges, from eviction notices to his serious health issues. Now, she shares her teenage diary with him and reveals things about her past that she's never mentioned.

On recording her teen audio diary:

"I recorded it because I had a lot on my mind, and it made me feel better when I talked about it. When you talk about it, those thoughts and those feelings kind of fade away a little bit, kinda make you understand the situation you're in."

Produced for All Things Considered by Joe Richman of Radio Diaries, edited by Deborah George, Ben Shapiro and Sarah Kate Kramer.

You can subscribe to the Radio Diaries podcast at NPR.org.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

From Her Dad To Her 'Jamish' Roots, A Poet Pieces Her Story Together

Salena Godden grew up in 1970s England with a Jamaican mom and an absent English-Irish dad. In her memoir, Springfield Road, she looks back on her struggle to find her personal identity.
NPR

If You've Ever Looked For Faces In Your Potato Chips, Thank Myrtle Young

The Potato Chip Lady, aka Myrtle Young, died in August of this year. She was 90. Young became famous after showing her collection of unusually shaped chips to Tonight Show host Johnny Carson in 1987.
NPR

Tennessee's Medicaid Deal Dodges A Partisan Fight

An agreement between the Tennessee Hospital Association and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam expands Medicaid without tax dollars, an agreement that could be a blueprint for other states.
NPR

Die-In, Vortex, Selfie Stick: What's The Word Of 2014?

In January, members of the American Dialect Society will vote on the 2014 Word of the Year. Linguist Ben Zimmer runs through some contenders — including words both old and new.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.