Mary Mills grew up as an only child in the 1960s, in a quiet neighborhood near Santa Monica, California. 

Mary Mills, 4, with her mother, Joyce Carter Mills, in front of their family car, in 1967.  Photo courtesy of Mary Mills.

Although Mary didn’t have siblings to play with, she was never lonely. There were plenty of children nearby and they all seemed to want to be at her house. More specifically, they wanted to hang out with Mary’s mother, Joyce Carter Mills.

Mary Mills and Joyce Carter Mills at their StoryCorps interview in Santa Monica, CA on February 7, 2020.
By Mia Raquel for StoryCorps.

In 2020, Mary brought her mom to StoryCorps to tell her why she was “the mom every other kid wanted.” Joyce, who was 89 at the time of their interview, starts their conversation.

Top Photo: A young Mary Mills with her mother, Joyce, in 1963. Photo courtesy of Mary Mills

Originally aired April 9, 2021 on NPR’s Morning Edition.