I have six grandchildren, ranging in ages from eleven to twenty-three (Yes, I am older than dirt). Last night my seventeen-year old granddaughter, known only to me as Sugar Dumplin’, IM’ed me. “Grandma, I’m SOOOO upset! (For your reading pleasure, I’ve shaved off the other twelve exclamation points.)
We spent the next two hours talking about boys and love. She was experiencing her first heartbreak—and mine was breaking right along with hers. I’m in southern Virginia; she’s in northern Indiana. Even so, I held her hand via the Internet and listened as she poured out her heart. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking this blogpost is a call-out for voodoo spells and evil chants and hex’s. Not so. Grandma’s already Googled all of that—okay, maybe not.
During our online chat, I helped her progress from “I can’t live without him” to “I can’t believe he’s such a jerk-face!”
I told her we can’t make someone care for us. Either the feeling’s there or it isn’t. Don’t we, as romance writers, deal with that very principal? We take that spark of attraction and flame it into a lifelong romance. Both feel the spark, no matter how each may fight the attraction.
I also told her no two people love equally. There’s always one member of a couple who loves more. To which she quickly replied, “The one who loves less is the one with the power, right?” See how smart my sugar dumplin’ is? I told her she was so right, and our conversation meandered on a philosophical path of humanity’s often twisted thinking.
Some say the young can’t know love. Perhaps. But they CAN know pain and emotional angst. Teenaged years with all those raging hormones are an era of extremes. Either they’re bored or everything is awesome or totally cool or whatever the hip phrase happens to be at the moment. As her grandma, my job was to listen, to empathize, to ask questions to spur her own thinking processes and to reinforce how important she is to me.
And, yes, I may have told her I would pray for a permanent case of zits for Zach. That he would be known far and wide as Pimple Boy.
“Grandma, stop! You'll make me laugh so hard I’ll pee my pants!”
My job was done.
What are your thoughts? Does the person who loves the least in a relationship hold the power?