20 questions with Christina Custodio
You might have seen Christina Custodio speaking at a local church or walking the halls of a school as a substitute teacher, but the job that trumps all is being mom to Abrianna, 15, Isaiah, 14, and Olivia, 11. A native of San Diego, California, Christina, her husband, Ozzy, and their children now make their home in Greenville.
1. What’s the funniest thing one of your kids has ever done?
It’s not what they do, it’s what they say. One I can think of is one night when I walked into Olivia’s room at bedtime, she was making shadow animals on her wall. I turned the light off and she screamed, “Mom! You killed my shadow animals! They’re dead because of you!”
2. What’s the most challenging thing about being a parent?
Knowing how tight to hold on, then knowing when to let go.
3. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
The day my dad took me out and bought me my own motorcycle helmet, and then took me out on a date that evening on his motorcycle.
4. What’s your favorite food?
Dessert. Any kind of chocolate dessert.
5. Where’s the best place in the Upstate to take the kids?
For our family, it’s the Peace Center. We love music and theater.
6. How did you come up with your children’s names?
I worked with a woman whose name was Adriana Cojacaru. I thought it was the most beautiful name. We changed it up and named our first daughter Abrianna. We wanted a strong Bible name for our son, and Isaiah was our favorite. Olivia must have been divine inspiration, because she fits her name. She is an old soul.
7. When you were younger, what did you want to be?
I wanted to be an actress on “The Cosby Show,” specifically so that I could steal Vanessa’s boyfriend Robert away from her. When reality hit and I realized that probably wouldn’t happen, I changed to a psychologist.
8. What is something important life has taught you?
Tough times are inevitable. It’s important to have a foundation of faith. Within that faith, you have a choice. You can give up and wallow in the dark, or you can find hope and choose joy.
9. What is your favorite family ritual?
Every Christmas night, my whole family, including my siblings who live out of town and their spouses, go to see whatever movie series has come out at that time. For several years it was the “Lord of the Rings” series. That ended, but thank goodness “Star Wars” has started up again.
10. What would surprise people about you?
I think I’m pretty open, so I don’t think there is much that would surprise anyone. Maybe the fact that I grew up listening to musicians like Barry Manilow and Culture Club.
11. What has surprised you most about being a parent?
How angry my children can make me, but even in that anger, there is nothing they could do to make me stop loving them.
12. What is the worst parenting advice you ever received?
“Let them cry. After discipline, let them sit and think about it. Don’t hug them or they’ll think they’re off the hook.”
13. What do you think is the best gift parents can give their child?
Wings to fly.
14. What is your favorite TV show?
Right now I have two. “The Blacklist” and “Blindspot.” I’m pretty sure I was an FBI agent in my previous life.
15. If you could have dinner with anyone, who would you choose?
I’ve always wished that I could be in the presence of Jesus. Can you imagine dining with pure love? I feel like that feeling would last an eternity.
16. What kind of music do you enjoy most?
Anything that exudes strong emotion and has amazing harmonies.
17. What’s your favorite restaurant?
When we could afford to go out once in a while, it was Soby’s. We don’t get out much now.
18. Whom do you admire most, and why?
Really it’s just any woman who is authentic as she shares her struggles as well as her strengths, and works to help other women be the best versions of themselves.
19. What always makes you laugh?
My kids. They are absolutely hilarious.
20. What book do you most recommend to others?
“Power of a Praying Parent” by Stormie Omartian.