Just found out today that my daughter has gotten a story of her's accepted into a magazine/zine. I told my husband that if I had had this kind of affirmation I might have gotten started earlier. I mean I was ALWAYS writing as a kid, but didn't get much encouragement. I don't want to be one of those whiney adults who blames everything on their parents, but face it--the day and age I was raised in isn't like now where parents lie all the time to their kids--"You're great. In fact the greatest thing since the discovery of fire!" Overkill, I know.
I'm not like the Tiger Mom, more like Tigger Mom, who wants the best for my kid, but I also know she has to face life's ups and downs. That's why we gave her a fare card and told her to get her own way home from art camp at the MCA downtown. She wouldn't be the only 12 year old on the train alone (maybe she was 13, not sure). And she didn't have to sit alone because a kid from the camp got on with her and they talked until one or the other got off first.
It's hard to be a Tiger Mom, or a Tigger Mom, or even a mom for that matter. There's so much about trust--that it's hard to give up control. What control! See, we fool ourselves, all the time.
Anyway, in college I was accepted into an advanced writing class and was given encouragement by professors to continue on a creative writing track. I still remember Dad looking at me as if I'd announced I wanted to become a cat burglar--"Why would you do that?"
He was right. It was a huge risk. But come on! I had NO college debt. I had money put away in the bank, in fact. I could live with friends or go out West and work and still write, but he wanted to see me get a job in the marketplace. I'd trained in college to become a teacher. So I applied, applied some more, and when nothing came quick enough I panicked. I left Dayton, Ohio for Chicago and, well, the rest is history.
But years later I got published. My parents still ask when I'm going to get a real job.