If I were to take an honest look at myself, I would have to admit to stoicism and laconism, neither of which trait my granddaughter appreciates very much at this point in time. She has only just begun to understand the reasons for my stoicism. It will take some time for her to understand the reasons for my laconism, but when she does, she will appreciate that I reserve some words for when they are – imperative.
Take today, for example . . .
I used the word ‘imperative’ to explain a form I had to fill out for Goodnight’s high school registration. I didn’t have to use the word on the form, I had to use the word when speaking with someone regarding the reasons for the form. In fact, it was so imperative to use that word, that I took time off work in order to have the conversation in person rather than on the phone.
The gravity with which I spoke the word – and the proper documentation to support my word choice – had the proper effect and we (I on behalf of my teenage ward) achieved the necessary result: safety and peace of mind for Goodnight. The gravity was sincere and necessary, not feigned and frivolous.
I have earned the right to be stoic, laconic, reserved (that gives the impression of being aloof), and protective of my granddaughter. More accurately, I should say that I have spent BIG bucks to be stoic, laconic, reserved, and protective.
She’s worth it. When she makes peace with my stoicism and laconism, she will understand the love and committment behind my brusque demeanor. Emotions are ineffective when cutting through red tape. Proper vocabulary choices make very sharp shears.
Repeat after me: “It is imperative that we protect our children from sexual predation.” Eleven words that made a huge difference in GN’s life today.
She has not been harmed. There has been no overt threat of that kind of harm, but the predator (and accomplice, I might add) got a taste of my task-oriented research, my carefully constructed Rolodex, and my (grand)parenting resumé .
Grandparents, or anyone providing kinship care, tend to spend much more of their resources – energy, patience, time, money, on this kind of concern than parents do, because the threat to a child’s safety and peace of mind are most often a parent and/or the reason for the kinship care in the first place.
Now, I have to go wash my stoic face and get GN’s after-school snack ready! When she gets home from school, I have an interesting answer to her question, “How was your day, Grammy?”