From the time they’re born, we feed our children, bathe them, doctor their skinned knees, and love them. We drive them to school, ball practice and games, piano and dance rehearsal and programs. We congratulate them when they make good grades, if they win awards, and when they achieve their goals. We scold them for misbehaving. We encourage them when they have bad days. We listen to their troubles and complaints and offer our advice. They don’t always listen and sometimes go on their own way. We stand by to help them when needed.
As writers we do the same for our make-believe children. We nourish them from page one. We help them discover their good points and also their bad. We go along with them to that first school program and clap and shout “That’s my boy!” or “That’s my girl.” No doubt embarrassing them, if they were more than just characters on a page, but proud of their accomplishments, even the ones that surprise us. We hold their hands when their first love dumps them. We brush away their tears. We guide them as they grow and discover their place in the confusing world of their story, whether fantasy, science fiction, historical, contemporary, or other.
It doesn't matter if our children/teens are flesh and blood or characters formed in our imaginations, they are our young ones. We love them. They may not always follow our plans and instead take off in their own direction. We support the choices they make, anyway, and hope they're the right ones. We give them our best advice and follow along on the journey they've chosen. Sometimes they find what they're looking for; other times they have to learn the hard way.
Even when their choices get them in trouble, we’re there, to hug and love them. For no matter what, they are our creations, both living and make believe. We send them out into the world and hope the world will be kind to them, and they’ll find love and happiness.
Our children and teens.