My grandparents came to visit me last weekend from Florida. Every time I see them, I want everything to be the way it used to be. I want them to move back into the house down the street in Springfield so I can see them every single day. I want to be the grandchild they adored. Looking at me with glowing eyes, straightening my little pumpkin Halloween costume and taking cute pictures. Picking me up for school and listening to me name all the makes and models of the cars on the road in amazement. “Hiding” the plastic Easter eggs (containing clues to find a few gifts around the house) in the back yard for my sister and I to find. Being at every single one of my sporting events, school functions, and big moments in my life. Going way out of their way to give me a ride no matter where I was. Buying me an absurdly unnecessary amount of snacks when my friends came over. Dealing with me being a rotten little brat in such a gentle way. Going shopping to buy every living school supply and seasonal article of clothing under the sun. Happily observing me type car names I observed on the typewriter that I saw during the day, like “Chevrolet” and “Mercedes” and “Caravan.” Going out to eat at a chain restaurant around 11:30 every weekday.
I did a ridiculous amount of puzzles and played so many games of Yahtzee with Grandma. I went on drives with Grandpa to really cool houses that he would appraise, and I would always get car sick because of his herky-jerky driving style. I was so happy to get back from my vacations out west so I could fervently tell Grandma every detail I could remember. I used to go out to breakfast with Grandpa, drink a sip of his coffee, and have pancakes without syrup because he did not want to deal with the sticky mess (I never knew syrup was a possibility on pancakes until Grandma realized what he was doing and quickly put an end to it).
I know they won’t be here forever. I am horrible at this “being a grown-up” thing. I cannot express myself well like I used to. I am not loud and annoying and talkative and pouty and opinionated and judgmental and humorous and cute anymore. I don’t know how to talk about adult things. I am still a child, but have found myself in this adult life. I will get acclimated, and that will just take time. What worries me is that they don’t have much time; I want them to see me grow as a person. I have been a little lost and will be more of a late bloomer than some, but I want that blooming process to come as soon as possible. Even though I know my grandparents have and always will love me no matter what, I owe them something, after everything they have given me. I want to show them what I am made of. If I ever make a respectable amount of money when they are still around, I like to think I would pay them back for all the things they have ever paid for, to get rid of any guilt I might have for accepting such generosity and to let them know they mean more than that to me. Knowing them, they would not accept any of it. I might be able to buy them a dinner, but that’s about it. What would be a bigger payment to my grandparents would be for me to grow up and be the best person I can be. To use my mind effectively, to make an impact on the world like they know I can do. To be as loving and giving to others as they have been. To be an amazing grandson.
National Grandparents Day was September 9th, which I always seem to forget, but my grandparents deserve more than just a day. They deserve everything I could ever give. They have provided me with love and stability in every moment of my life, and I owe all of my past and future successes to them. I hope they are around when I have kids so they can be as great-grandparents what they are to me as grandparents: the best ever.