"Grandmother to the World"
"Grandmother to the world, that's what you'd like to be," my friend said. She laughed when she said it, but it surprised me nonetheless because I did not think I had been doing anything particularly grandmotherly. I have thought about her comment from time to time since she said it. My role models have changed to the likes of Miss Marple rather than Emma Peel or a rockette over the years with a few wishful thinking but not likely episodes.
Throughout my avatars I have been guided by my grandmother's smile. She had that kind of smile that let you know everything would be all right. She only lost her temper with me once--when I really really deserved it. She laughed way more times than I can count and most importantly, she thought that everything I did was wonderful. Even when I knew it wasn't so, I liked hearing it.
I have spent a week with a baker's dozen of high school age students: young people teetering on the edge of responsibility for life changing decisions. It is good for me to be reminded not to romanticize growing up. For all the good times, it is no easier than other phases of life. Listening to gthier choices, their challenges, their fears, was a privilege. Not an easy time always but certainly an important one--for me certainly and for them as well, I hope.
One of the students wrote on my copy of our anthology--a collection of some of the writing from the week--that she would pick me to fill in if she needed a spare grandmother. I was honoured. I still have ambitions of my own, but I could do much worse than Grandmother to the World.