Bragging Rights

The following interview is taken from the PEOPLE magazine issue which will be hitting newsstands in the way distant future...the interviewer is PEOPLE magazine's ace reporter, and the interviewee is Loni Gee Hackworth. So, here in its entirety is a portion of the interview:

Q: You've had some pretty exciting happenings in your family this week, haven't you?

A: oh, yes, indeed...very exciting!

Q: Would you like to tell us about it?

A: First, I'd like to give you a little background. My mother, who was the kindest person I've ever known, always told me growing up: "It's not polite to brag about one's children."

Q: That's interesting.

A: So, as a parent, I never bragged about my kids - except to my parents - and even then, I was always very low key.

Q: Even though your mother's intentions were good, do you think this is a good parenting strategy?

A: No, I don't and I've told my children that they should brag about their kids; their kids should hear them being bragged about. Not in an overly obnoxious manner, like my uncle does with his kids until it's ad nauseum, but the children should know the parents are proud of their children.

Q: Doesn't this lead to a child being conceited?

A: I don't think so. I think it leads to having a feeling of self worth in the eyes of their parents.

Q: Well, then, how does this relate to you?

A: I didn't brag about my children to relatives, friends, neighbors, strangers, anyone; which I regret totally, and I, to this day, even though I'm getting a little better about it, feel very uncomfortable in talking about my children or grandchildren and their achievements.

Q: Can you give an example?

A: Well, this is hard, but one year ago, our grandson won a very, very prestigious scholarship - one of 12 in the nation - that hundreds and hundreds of students start out to apply for.

Q: AND???

A: So, in Relief Society, during the Good News Minute, I said something like, "Our grandson just won a Samsung twenty thousand dollar scholarship to any university of his choice." Immediately after I said that, I felt the guilt wash over me in waves. And, I said to myself, "Loni, don't ever do that again!" I felt I was bragging beyond the pale, and was embarrassed that I had said anything...which is ridiculous...like anyone cares, remembers, etc. But, those old feelings of not bragging were there.....

Q: So, in spite of what happened to you in Relief Society, are you ready to brag now?

A: Yes, in this very private arena, I'm ready to brag So, here it is!!!!

Our granddaughter, Janessa Fisher, who is a junior in high school, won the title of Miss Hurricane last night!
(This is not related in any way to Miss America and she doesn't go on to compete in other events. This is a high school pageant.)

Q: You must be very proud!

A: I'm very proud, but not just because she won. I'm proud because she is a wonderful person...she is fun, smart, happy, kind, generous, good, righteous, strong, talented, and very beautiful.

Q: You sound like every other grandmother out there.

A: Perhaps so, but I think others see her in this light also. And, she went into the pageant to have fun, and hopefully to win the talent portion which has a two hundred dollar scholarship award...(she's thinking ahead to college, you see!)

Q: Did she win any other awards?

A: As a matter of fact, she did; she won Poise and Appearance - (The MC kept referring to it as Poison Appearance), the Talent Scholarship, and the Interview Award.

Q: So, it must have been an incredible evening for you and your family.

A: It was...but as I say, she's not just beautiful on the outside, she's a very good person, so even if she hadn't won anything, she's a winner in our eyes.

Q: Considering your background about not bragging about your children or grandchildren, aren't you embarrassed now to brag about this?

A: Well, a little, yes, but I'll get over it and relish the moment and be grateful that I could have been a part of it...because you see, we live so far away from our other grandchildren - I'll rarely get to share in their joyful moments. So, I'll just enjoy this for now.

Q: Any final words?

A: Actually, yes. To all our 13 grandchildren and our five children and spouses: you don't need to win scholarships, titles, or anything for us to love you. We love you all because you are unique and wonderful. We just hope for you that you will always be the best you can be!


Nat said...

Loni, this made my day. Thank you so much for sharing this in such a wonderful way...you are an amazing writer. This was too much fun. It made me smile from ear to ear! You have a beautiful family and grandchildren and I hope that you won't ever hesitate to brag about them on your blog. What accomplishments! I love it!

Mrs. Olsen said...

That was cute. Grandma's can totally brag without being weird..ever. I can't believe Janessa is so old! Tell her congrats.

The Belyea Bunch said...

I think it's great to brag about your kids. One of the things I have always thought, is kids are individuals. My brother was definatly not the way he was because of my parents. He was an individual person, and he was great. I love him very much, and hope my parents are proud to brag about what a neet person he was. I think your braging is a great thing... so step it up.. and keep BRAGING.. they are great kids, and I know your a PROUD Mother and Grandmother... BTW... I love reading your blog...