I was reading a glowing bit of editorial recently about Cate Blanchett and how amazing she is on the stage. The risks she takes as an actor and the talent that she shares make her extremely watchable and you find yourself drawn into her make believe world - she has you feeling real feelings about the characters she plays. An amazing talent indeed when you consider that these characters started their 'life' as imagined beings in the author's mind and which developed with only one so-called parent (the author). So much for DNA and the need for the right amount of chromosomes!
Creating a human character is a difficult thing to do when you are doing so on paper - however I think this is easier than the more traditional way of giving birth and raising a child . . . so many variables and so much chance to get it wrong. The constant worry that, as a parent, you have made a bad choice or been a poor role model sometimes makes it difficult to really enjoy bringing up baby.
Of course, there is also the chance that you get things very right and your child grows up to be a responsible, caring and loving person capable of looking after themselves and finding their own way in life. I look at my two daughters and am amazed that they are just so, well, fantastic! Did I have anything to do with that or were they always going to turn out so well?
As a parent, I played a role that I had seen my own mother play and I had also seen other women do so as well - both in my personal life and in books, on television etc. In the middle of playing the parent role, I was also playing the wife role, the employee role, the daughter role and, of course, the friend role.
I know that DNA and genetics play a huge role in our looks, health, intelligence etc but am quite surprised that, without really studying a script, we can also become parents and teachers for our own children.
And now here I am playing the role of grandmother - again, no script to follow and no real role models (my grandparents lived in another state and I barely knew them). My own mum's grandmotherly love and care for my daughters was a great place to get some knowledge (unfortunately she never got to meet her great grand daughters) and I then just fell head over heels in love with my grand babies and the rest, as they say, is history . . .