Friday, July 17, 2009

Giving this Grace thing a try...

I thought and thought about what to call this blog. Since creating a blog was quite the surprise item in my day -- I only wanted to comment on a friend's blog post and got caught up in the mandatory login procedure -- I had no handy, clever name in mind. However, one thing I want so much is grace, in all its forms. And since it was my grandmother's middle name, Grace seemed the appropriate title.

My dashboard dictionary gives definitions of grace.


Noun
1. simple elegance or refinement of movement; courteous goodwill; (graces) an attractively polite manner of behaving

I've got to say that No. 1a is NOT who or what I am. I come in on the flat-footed, klutzy side of the gene pool. I don't sit like a lady. I don't move through a crowd like a queen. I don't do the Hokey Pokey well, and with that, someone is *telling* me what to do. (Put your right hand in, put your right hand out...) I even broke a bone in P.E. going over the uneven parallel bars. I think of all the Hollywood images of graceful people. (Audrey Hepburn and Julie Andrews top my list there.) I remember the people I've met who move with seemingly effortless grace. (Holly, who moved through the office with elegance; Tracie, whose carriage is the epitome of grace; the neighbor boy who displays jaw-dropping athletic grace at such a young age.) I can wish, but I don't think there's a whole lot I can do about this lack in myself; it seems to be an innate characteristic that I don't possess.

However, I'm working really hard on showing 1b and 1c -- not just because you catch more flies with honey than vinegar but because it's what I hope to find in others.
It's hard to advocate for your children when you're steam rollered or stared down or ignored, however politely. It's just as hard to advocate for your children when you yourself are confrontational, dismissive, or snotty. A little bit of grace would go a long way in a lot of situations, on both sides of the table. I'm usually involved in school situations, but just the other day, I watched Rachel Maddow embody "grace" in an interview with someone who vented bilious prejudice to the nation. She displayed true grace under fire.

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