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Grandparents always know how to spoil

   
 
 

My grandparents have always played an important role in my life. I know this is true for most people, but I think my grandparents and I have a connection that a lot of people don't get to have with their grandparents.

When I was a few days old, my mom had to go back to the hospital. My dad had woke up in the middle of the night, noticed my mom wasn't in bed, and went to see if she was up with me or how she was doing. He found her standing in a pool of blood, surrounded by blood-soaked towels, attempting to feed me. She had hemorrhaged, and so I spent the greater part of my first week of life with my grandparents. Because of this, we bonded in a way babies don't normally get to bond with their grandparents.

Even after my mom was released from the hospital, we still stayed with my grandparents for a few days so grandma could take care of both of us and try to keep my mom off her feet. My mom still tells me stories about how I would wake up in the night and my grandma would sneak into the room and pick me up before she could. My mom said she broke my grandma's heart when she took me home. I think she's right, but grandma's house was my second home so I think that helped heal it.

I was always grandma's girl, though. When I was a few years old, I wanted to swim in my wading pool. It was the middle of winter, so not exactly prime swimming weather. So what'd my grandparents do? They put my wading pool in their kitchen so I had my own indoor pool. In every picture I have of me at grandma's as a young girl, I always have a cookie in my hand, icing on my face, or I'm licking a beater from her mixer.

But when I started to have too many cookies and too much icing, grandma was the first to let me know. In junior high, we joined Weight Watchers together. Then after that, we started working out at the YWCA. A few years ago I went to a nutritionist who was getting frustrated when I always seemed to "cheat" on my diet when I was at my grandma's. "Maybe you shouldn't go to grandma's that much anymore," she suggested. Needless to say, that was the last time I went to that nutritionist.

Even as I grew up, grandma was always there to baby me and take care of me. When I had my wisdom teeth pulled in high school, my mom was working nights at the time so grandma insisted I stayed at her house for a few days. She made sure I had plenty of ice cream and cooked soft foods for me.

When I was in college and needed to buy my first car, they contacted the car dealer they often used. They wanted to make sure I went to someone I could trust. My parents were not in a financial situation where they could help me get a car, and I was a broke college student. If I hadn't had their help, I don't know if I would have been able to get a car. To this day, five years later, I still drive that little car. It has almost 150,000 miles on it from my daily 100 mile roundtrip commute, but it's my little highway warrior. Without that car, I wouldn't have been able to get the job that I have, and who knows where I would be without it.

Growing up, I never wanted to disappoint them. I still don't want to disappoint them. It's not that I don't care if I disappoint my parents, but they have more of a relaxed view on life. My grandparents have just always been there for me in a way that no one else ever has been. And they're the best role models for how to live your life--they've been married for over 50 years and raised seven amazing children.

As I grow up and they get older, I can only think of how some day I will have children, and how desperately I want for them to be able to meet my grandparents. I want pictures of them at great-grandma's with icing on their face and cookies in their hand. Maybe they'll even get their own indoor wading pool.
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