Appreciating Gram and Gramps

Young staff writer Rebecca Gluck with her grandmother.

Young staff writer Rebecca Gluck with her grandmother.

Rebecca Gluck, Staff Writer

Now that holiday season has been over for a few weeks, some of you are probably breathing a sigh of relief that the bombardment of questions, the affectionate cheek pinching, and the abundance of food you haven’t liked since you were seven is over. While these gestures may be annoying at times, it’s important to remember that the relatives who are responsible for them, particularly grandparents, only mean well and should be appreciated.

Answering the dreaded questions about high school life, friends, and college is a small price to pay for the time spent with grandparents. It can be tedious to respond to these questions over and over, but instead of focusing on how you should respond to your friend’s Snapchat, take the time to give thoughtful answers. If you were in their shoes, you wouldn’t want your grandchildren, who you may rarely get to see, to solely answer “yes” or “no” to things you really want to know more about.

Grandparents are some of the only people who are genuinely interested in your life and want you to be happy. The least you can do for the people who will always love you unconditionally is to give them some insight into your life. It might seem like they don’t understand the stress you’re under or the things you like to do, but, once upon a time, your grandparents were the same age as you and experienced the same emotions and adventures in life.

When you were little, listening to your grandparents talk about the iceman delivering ice everyday probably had no meaning to you. In fact, most of their stories likely made little sense. Now that you’re older and can grasp how different life was for your grandparents, take advantage of these stories. They’ve lived through historic events that you’ve only seen pictures or videos of. Even if you don’t like history, hearing a grandparent talk about their past can be intriguing because it humanizes situations from decades ago. It’s humbling to learn how “good” we have it nowadays and how much the world has progressed. This also makes a teenager look at their grandparent differently and with more respect.

While it’s difficult to admit, your grandparents won’t be around for a lot of your life. Regardless of how good or bad of a life they’ve led thus far, it seems like it should be teenagers’ responsibilities to make their grandparents happy. You are like their second set of children, equally as precious to them as the first. Everything they do for you they do because they care. It should be a priority for teenagers to build a strong relationship with their grandparents. Doing so is equally as beneficial for the teen as is it is for the grandparent.