10 Reasons Your Grandparents Are The Best People In The World

My younger cousin and I grew up with our grandparents. They were basically our substitute parents whenever ours weren’t around. Even now, living halfway around the world from my grandmother she never fails to remind me of the lessons she and my grandfather raised me with. Every part of who I am today is because of the things they taught me. Here's just a few:

1. Their cooking feels like home. And I’m not just talking about grandma’s home-made cookies (my grandma has actually never made cookies in her life; she always bought them in a box). I mean every time you’re at your grandparents house and they've made your favorite soup or cooked up a sweet rice cake, you know you can never get this special stuff anywhere else. 

2. They instill a sense of adventure. Every Saturday in my childhood, up until a stroke prevented him from doing so, my grandfather would wake my younger cousin and me up and we’d ride his bicycle through the busy streets, dodging cars and buses on our way to the beach (me sitting on the bars in front, my cousin clinging to him from the back). Was it safe? Definitely not. But hey, these days, I don’t even bat an eyelash running across the streets of Manhattan while a cabbie lays on his horn. 

3. They remind you anything with a hole can be mended. Shirts. Pants. Socks. Curtains. Table cloths. Anything with a hole can be fixed as long as you have your trusty thread, needle, and positivity that it will all work out.

4. They'll cover for you no matter what.  My baby cousin and I used to play this game when we were young: Every Christmas, our grandma would put the tree out. It was a tiny plastic thing, standing no more than a foot, with tiny Christmas balls and ornaments and a tiny Christmas sock (this was before my mother realized how pathetic it was so she bought a bigger, though still plastic, tree). When our grandma wasn’t looking, we’d take all the ornaments and stuff them down our shirts before hiding. Grandpa, an accomplice to our crime, never 'fessed up when our Grandma questioned him why the tree was bare. He always had our backs.

5. Their stories are more entertaining than any TV show. One of my favorite stories that Grandma tells is about the time the Japanese Inquisition forced them to flee their home and roam the forest for a while. After some time, her father caught and cooked some questionable meat for dinner. She believed that it may have been a monkey. My grandma had potentially eaten monkey meat. What about yours?

6. They kill the spiders. There’s really nothing else to elaborate on. I don’t like spiders and Grandpa takes care of them for me.

7. They value you, which in turn, makes you value yourself. My mother tells me that when I was no more than a year old, my grandfather used to tell her that when I grew up, I was to wear a chastity belt. Why? Because I’m precious and only the very best deserved me.

8. They put your comfort before their own. I have childhood memories of waking up in the middle of wickedly hot nights with no air-conditioning and seeing, through my blurry just-woke-up-eyes, my grandmother fanning me with a paper fan. She’d tell me to close my eyes and go back to sleep. That is love.

9. They're always with you - even when they aren't. My Grandpa passed when I was four. I remember the loud wailing from my famly members but oddly, I don’t remember crying or even being sad. When I grew up, I figured out why. It wasn’t because I didn’t realize he was never coming back; I just knew that no matter where he was, I'd always have his love. And that has held true.

10. Even when you’re all grown up in a big world and achieving your dreams, you’re still their beloved grandchild. "Be good to your mom and dad and to your friends," Grandma would always say at the end of our monthly phone calls. Will do, Grams.