I was raised in a small, but familiar town on the outskirts of Tallahassee known as Havana. A place where everyone practically knows everyone that lives there. My hometown upholds a sense of charm and southern hospitably in the atmosphere, with the many boutiques and restaurants for one to enjoy. However, I feel that it is a place where more mature individuals could appreciate (like adults), due to its historical nature. To be honest, other than going to school with my friends, as a child there really wasn’t much for me to do when the summer rolled in. Especially, since I was the only girl in a house with two brothers.
In fact, majority of my summer vacation was spent at home, with my annoying brothers, “The Terrible Two”. Well, at least that’s what I called them, because they were always finding a way to make fun out of torturing me. From being hit by water balloons unexpectedly, to waking with burning lips from the hot sauce they put on them while I was sleeping, pretty much describes the “summer” moments of my childhood; at least the ones spent with brothers. Until, I suddenly had an epiphany, and begged my mother to let me stay with my grandmother while I school wasn’t in; or at least until she made it home from work.
Of course she asked why; although she knew how much my brothers would tease me. She just told me it was there way of showing “brotherly” love, but she understood how annoying it could be, because she too was raised among all boys; in which worked out in my favor, because I no longer spent the summer’s home. She accepted my plea to be free from the “Terrible Two,” and Grandma’s house was to be my new location for summer vacation, which I enjoyed every bit of. First, the summers that I spent with my grandmother were always filled with surprises and adventures; it was the real reason why I wanted to go there in the first place.
Yeah, my brothers may have gotten on my nerves, but doing house chores while on vacation was not the way I wanted to spend my summers. I would have much rather been in the city, Tallahassee of course, and then stuck in the house, repeating the same usual routine- cook for my brothers, clean up after my brothers, and worse, deal with the aggravation. Grandma’s house was home away from home. I didn’t have to do chores or deal with my brothers; just have fun with my grandma. Also, she was a very energetic soul, which made her a fun loving person to be around, because she kept me busy doing something.
Fishing, crabbing, and canoeing are a few favorite hobbies that I experienced firsthand with my grandma. We would wake up early on every Saturday, and she would prepare a delicious breakfast, before filling me in on the busy schedule that she had planned for us. Which wasn’t a big deal to me; because I knew it would be something that I would love. Grandma didn’t have much company, so I figured she just wanted to make sure I wasn’t bored; in which would make me want to spend every summer with her.
Times spent at grandma’s house were memorable indeed, but not all times were good; especially when I did something I wasn’t supposed to. For example, the time I invited a few friends to hang out while my grandmother was away one night. Obviously, by this time I was a teenager, but I continued to visit grandma during the summer, because she didn’t have as many rules as my mother. Anyway, that particular night, grandma said she was going to visit a church member, who was unable to get out because of sickness.
She had mentioned that she may be gone for a couple of hours, and that I could just call her if I needed anything. Since I knew my grandmother loved to restore the high spirits in others with her long conversations, I figured a few hours would be at least two to three. However, my estimations were incorrect, because only an hour and a half after she had left, she was back to the house; in which by this time, my friends were just beginning to get comfortable. For instance, it was such a shock to see how frustrated my grandma was with me, because she had never ever really been angry with me before.
She always called me her “Angel”, because she said I was as sweet and innocent as one. However, I assumed that night change that perception, because I had broken the very rule that she so dearly stood by faithfully-“no company in the house while she wasn’t home. ” I knew better, and should have just followed her rule; being that she practically already let me get away with things that I couldn’t do at home. Like talk on the phones with boys from school. My mother didn’t allow this because she felt that boys only wanted one thing; which may have been true.
But grandma felt that teenagers will experiment and do things they aren’t supposed to when they are restricted from the freedom of being just that, a teenager. She didn’t feel the need to hold me back from doing anything as long as it didn’t fall out of the place of a respectful teenage girl. Finally, when I disobeyed my grandma, I felt hurt. I had never really witnessed her ever in a bad mood, because she felt that children shouldn’t bear the trouble of adults. She believed that children should be able to live trouble free, until they were old enough to deal with their own troubles.
However, that was my own trouble, and I imagined that she was thinking all types of horrible things that I could have done while she gone. In fact, before she could even tell me how disappointed she was in me, I began to plea and beg for her forgiveness; letting her know how deeply sorry I was and I that I would never do it again. Grandma didn’t want to hear my apologies and excuses, however. She simply told me how she felt about what I had done, and asked me not to do it again; which I immediately gave her my word to never disobey her rules again. Then she sat me down and explained to me why she made such a big deal about that rule.
You see, people aren’t always who they seem to be, and you never know what they might be doing while your back is turned. My grandmother wanted me to understand that her house was filled with many things that were valuable and precious to her. If anything had been broken or gone missing, who was I going to blame if I wasn’t supposed to have anyone in the house in the first place? She told me that just because someone may seem to be my friend, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t take from me. Even though she wasn’t actually accusing any of them of being a thief; it was just the principle of the matter that was important.
Thank God, no one ever did take anything from her house, but I understood what she meant, now that I am of a mature age. It didn’t take much time for me to gain my grandma’s trust back, after I deliberatively did what I was told not to do. I just had to prove to her that I had learned from my mistakes, by not getting into anymore trouble while I was there. This wasn’t hard for me to do, because again she kept me busy with something. In conclusion, spending time with my grandma taught me how to live life to the fullest, and to respect her rules, as well. However, it wasn’t always about having fun.
She showed me how special and blessed I truly was to have had her in my life, because a lot of my friends didn’t have the type of relationship I had with my grandma. There were even some kids who didn’t have any grandparents. I must say that I was truly blessed to have had a grandmother like her growing up. In fact, she is still an inspiration in my life, this day in present. She may not be here with me physically, but her love and spirit flows through me abundantly. To all those who have their grandmother, or any grandparent for that matter, in their life- cherish them.
Try to have a close and loving relationship with them, because it wasn’t for them you would even exist. If you have children, make sure you include their grandparents in their lives as much as possible. According to Dr. Arthur Kornhaber, the grandparent/grandchild relationship is an “illuminating” relationship comprised of the purest forms of human love: unconditional, nonjudgmental and freely given simply because a person exists (Marie Barhyte/ Simply Grand, 2011). In other words, when you can’t find the time, grandparents most likely will.