Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The world needs more Grandmas

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
My Grandma Clara wants me to enter a writing contest.
Not just any writing contest, but the CBC Literary Awards.
Of course, this is preposterous. I love writing. I love words. I even love typing. I keep a giant stack of scrap paper stapled together in my drawer at work for one purpose only - to write out those thoughts that chase me around and around. I have notebooks and computer files and two freaking blogs. But I know better. I write, but I'm not a writer.
I am not entering the CBC Literary Awards.
Whether I enter or not, whether I pull together some higgledy piggledy portfolio of what I consider to be my "best work" or not, this is beside the point. The point? Just knowing that my Grandma has so much faith in me, and loves me so much, and thinks I'm brilliant and special - that's award enough.
This might be the problem with today's kids, guys. Parents are supposed to raise you. They make a decent adult out of the clay of childhood. They teach you the tough lessons, and stay up with you at night when you're sick, and ground you for reasons beyond your comprehension. It's love, but it's hard, and sometimes, you hate each other. And that is the way it's supposed to be. Parents are loving and encouraging and positive, sure, but there is inherent responsibility in making sure your precious prince or princess becomes a responsible, grounded human.
Somewhere along the way, we all became special princesses with a shoebox full of participation ribbons and gold stars for effort and massive applause for merely existing.
Parents ground us, teach us, stretch us when we don't want to be stretched and push even when it would be so much easier to give up. Learn from those mistakes. Take responsibility for your actions. Seize the consequences.
And grandparents? They exist to tell you how freaking fantastic you are. That you, to them, are one hundred percent perfection.
It's a balance.
And I know that my own beloved Mom and Dad will do a FABULOUS job of being grandparents. Because they are kick-ass parents. I just hope I can rise to the occasion.
If not, maybe someday I'll win a CBC Literary Award for my scandalous tell-all, "How I Effed up My Child in Three Easy Steps."