Shades of Gray

Claire - Plymouth, Indiana
Entered on May 23, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t believe it, more that I couldn’t accept it. It was against the morals my mother had taught me. To me, my mother was flawless. She always knew the answers, always did everything right. And her mother, my grandmother, was exponentially more perfect; she single-handedly ran non-profits, led the church choir, and was a Girl Scout leader. She adopted 2 babies who were being abused and had no home. She is a CASA, a court appointed special advocate for kids, she makes sure abused or neglected children are placed in the best place they can be. She is a compassionate, loving, hard-working woman. The perfect mother of my perfect mother. She was a saint. She was also a teenage mother.

It was hard for me to accept that my grandmother had gotten pregnant with my mother out of wedlock. Because my grandma is a good person and teenage pregnancy is a bad thing. It just didn’t fit together in my mind. In Disney movies, there are the “good guys” and the “bad guys”. All the good guys are wholly perfect while the bad guys are bad to the core and can’t be trusted. So where would my grandma fit?

I have learned that nothing is absolute. Like the yin-yang there is some bad in all good and some good in all bad. Humans can’t be put in stereotypical boxes. Whether the stereotype is an ethnic stereotype, a gender stereotype, or simply the stereotype of good or bad, no person entirely fits any. My grandmother helped me to realize there is no black or white in this world. I believe in shades of gray.