From the day you’re born until the moment you welcome your own grandchild into the world, there’s very few relationships as treasured as those between grandparents and their grandchildren.
With Grandparent’s Day this Sunday, we take a moment to celebrate all that is wonderful about these remarkable people. Here are 12 ways they make our lives special, using our favourite word: GRANDPARENTS.
G is for Generous
If there’s someone in your family who will always put everyone else’s needs before their own, it’s your grandparents. Who else would swap beds with you when you come to stay, just because you don’t like the picture in the spare room? And have you ever left your grandparents’ house hungry? No. Didn’t think so.
Whether you need time, space, or advice, grandparents are endlessly generous.
R is for Resourceful
Grandparents were around way before selfies and hashtags (yes, such a time really did exist). They grew up with real-life maps, cooked their food from scratch, and kept all their money in cash under the mattress. They know how to make do and mend, how to tune a radio, and can probably remember their best friend’s phone number from 50 years ago.
They might not be on Instagram (or maybe they are), but grandparents are a thousand times more resourceful than the rest of us.
A is for Accepting
Not only have your grandparents known you your whole life, but they’ve known your parents too – which means they know you better than anyone else. And knowing you better than anyone else means that, even when you mess up, they see through it to the person you really are inside.
Whether it’s using your first pair of scissors to cut the tassels off their new sofa when you were little, or telling them your messy divorce was really all your fault, chances are your grandparents will listen patiently, shrug their shoulders, and offer you another chocolate biscuit.
N is for Neat
Have you ever been to your grandparents’ house and seen it in a mess? And who else do you know with such a pristine garden? Grandparents own such a lot of stuff accumulated over an entire lifetime, and yet they always have neat homes. How do they do it?
They dress well too – no occasion is too informal for a smart pair of trousers or a lovely blouse. They take pride in who they are and what they’ve achieved, and it’s reflected in the way they present themselves.
D is for Devoted
Walk into any grandparents’ living room and you’ll see pictures of their grandchildren in pride of place on the mantelpiece. That’s because grandparents are utterly devoted to their grandchildren.
And is it any wonder? After all the hard work and of raising their own children, this is their chance to do nothing but love, love, love.
P is for Patient
Perhaps it’s because they’re retired, or maybe it’s because they’ve been around so much longer than you, but grandparents have patience by the bucket load. They’ll sit with you for hours on end while you try to learn how to crochet, and they’ll let you play that song you love over, and over, and over, without ever letting on it’s annoying.
A is for Always Right
Grandparents are always right. Always.
The best bit is that they’re always right in a good way (and not in the way your partner is always right, or your parents). Their priceless combination of life experience and knowing you inside out means they give the best advice. And even though you might ignore it, you’ll look back and realise they were right. As usual.
R is for Respected
Your grandparents are your first glimpse of what you might one day hope to achieve. From happy marriages and lovely homes, to extended families and a circle of lifelong friends, your grandparents show you what you can achieve if you work hard and look after the people you love.
But most important of all, they created your parents, who created you. It doesn’t get much more awesome than that.
E is for Experienced
Broken heart? They’ve had one. Stressed at work? They’ve felt it. Failed a test? They’ve flunked it.
Grandparents have been around the block more times than you can imagine. They’ve had all the highs and lows that life can throw at them, and they’ve come out the other side with heaps of wisdom and plenty of perspective, making them great comfort in a crisis.
N is for Needed
As grandparents age, it’s easy for them to think that they need us more than we need them, but nothing could be further from the truth.
We grandchildren need our grandparents’ endless wisdom. We need their warm hugs and big smiles. We need their calming influence and positive outlook. We need their knack of solving even the biggest problems with a few simple words. And we need their unconditional love and support. Without our grandparents, we’d be lost.
T is for Treats
Nobody does treats quite like grandparents. Whether it’s their endless supply of your favourite biscuits or being spoilt rotten on a day out, grandparents really know how to indulge their grandchildren.
S is for Stories
Isn’t it the most amazing thing when your grandparents tell you all about their adventures in that casual, no-big-deal way? And they’re really awesome stories that matter too, like living through the war or building their own house with their bare hands. Then there’s the ones that will live on as family legends for generations to come, like the time Uncle Jimmy fell asleep drunk in a field, or how Aunty Peggy cut her jumper off with scissors rather than spoiling her hair.
But perhaps the most special of all are the stories they tell about their own grandparents, who they adored in the same way we adore them.