Eleanor chose not to teach their children school subjects, because they would learn these in school. Eleanor instead believes that children should be taught how to cook, clean, work together, and care for one another, among other life lessons. She believed her job as a parent was to instruct, discipline, facilitate, encourage, and prepare her children to be responsible adults.

Mark, the first child, is a very caring and gentle soul. He was known in the household as The Fixer because he could repair just about anything. When Mark was six years old, he was able to fix a TV that had been broken for a very long time. His love of mechanics continued to grow as he got older. When Mark was in seventh grade, he got permission to teach himself computers at school. He is a very intelligent person but school was just not for him. He used his love of mechanics to become an auto mechanic and he even used to race cars. Mark has a son named James.

Photo of Mark building something in his free time in 1983. 

Scott is the second child. Scott has always been an athletic person; Scott played soccer and rugby growing up and until recently. He was the family interpreter; he was able to listen to a disagreement in the family and make the family members all understand each other. Scott went to The College of William & Mary for his undergraduate degree and then attended Wake Forest Law School. After he graduated, he got an offer for his first job, and eventually most of the family followed him to North Carolina. Scott is a personal injury trial lawyer. He married Jolene and they had Amber, Macy, and Graydon.

Scott playing soccer as a child in 1983.

Eleanor has many entertaining stories of raising her children. One story accompanies the photo that is below of her wearing a shirt that says “Mean Mom”, please listen to the link below to hear the story of how she became known as the Mean Mom.

Eleanor with her Mean Mom shirt in 1978. 

Kimberly is the youngest of the family. She became a good listener because everyone else in the family is a big talker. She would just sit quietly and listen unless she had something important to say. If she had something she needed to say, she would say “WAIT A MINUTE”, say her sentence, and return to listening. Kimberly always had tremendous insight growing up and also played soccer like Scott. Kimberly first went to Clemson University to get her nursing degree but met her husband at NC State during summer school and did not return to Clemson University. Kimberly married Geoffrey Guy and had Channing and Corinne. After Kimberly had her children, she went back to school in psychology at UNCC and then got her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. Kimberly works at a practice in Concord, North Carolina.

Photo of Kimberly after she received her master’s degree in 2014. 

Please watch the video below to hear Eleanor talk about one Christmas Eve in the Adams household.

All photos courtesy of Eleanor Adams.