I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people in the world. Not because I have a great job (though I do), not because I make so much money (because I don’t), but because I am a 25-year-old with four healthy, living grandparents.
Who doesn’t love visiting grandparents? From being spoiled with gifts, smothered with hugs, and stuffed with home-cooked meals, there’s really nothing better than spending a weekend visiting Grandma and Grandpa.
This past weekend, I traveled to the epicenter of Jewish grandparents, Boca Raton, Florida to celebrate my Grandpa’s 80th birthday and my other grandparents' 60-year anniversary. They're two incredible milestones I was fortunate enough to celebrate with my family.
Our generation’s relationship with our grandparents is an interesting one, different than most generations before us. Thanks to the advancement of technology over the past two decades, we've grown up in a completely different world than our grandparents.
So while we have so much to learn from our grandparents and their unique childhoods, most of whom lived through one, if not two, World Wars, there’s also so much we can share with them about our youth.
It takes such little effort to make your grandparents happy. Their pride resonates through their smile the moment you see them and on the phone when we occasionally remember to give them a call.
The harsh reality is, many of our grandparents won’t be around for much longer, and we sometimes forget to take advantage of their presence and wisdom whenever we can.
My Grandpa was born in Germany and was smuggled into Sweden to live with a non-Jewish family during the Holocaust.
He then took a boat to the United States to reconnect with his parents -- all before the age of 12. To compare: I was born on Long Island, went to summer camp and struck out during every other at bat in Little League.
By 13, my Grandpa had learned to speak German, Swedish, English and Hebrew. I’m 25 and currently only speak English. Oh, and I failed Spanish in high school. Do you get the picture?
While our grandparents aren’t necessarily familiar with all of the worries and stresses of today, their knowledge and wisdom can still relate to situations we face.
They’ve been through the same breakups and fights, they've fallen in love, and lived through most of the situations we've all come to know so well.
Sure, they may have met their love in the Army as opposed to Tinder, but those feelings of rejection, obsession, jealousy and passion are still the same.
As proud as most of our parents are of us and all we accomplish, there is no love that quite compares to the love of our grandparents.
Not only did they watch your parents grow up to be the people they became, but they raised someone and then watched that person raise someone.
It must be the most rewarding feeling, and one we will hopefully all feel one day (hopefully, not too soon).
That’s why grandparents are so easy to talk to. They may not understand Facebook (though they try), online dating and other social norms, but being a generation removed makes them more genuinely intrigued and much easier to talk to.
I was asked to roast my Grandpa at his party Sunday night. My Grandpa, the youngest 80-year-old you’ll ever meet and the guy who tells more dirty and inappropriate jokes than the average teenager, told me not to hold anything back. I didn’t.
“Grandpa, I can’t believe you’re 80 years old, it feels like just a month ago you were showing me pictures of topless women on your phone. Oh wait... that was a month ago.”
Yep, that’s my Grandpa. With more topless women on his phone than the average frat bro -- something we can both relate to! Who wouldn't want to call that guy?
Now, if you’ve made it this far into the article and haven’t picked up the phone to call your grandparents, what the heck are you waiting for?
Get off Facebook for a minute, pick up your phone and call and tell them how much you love them. It takes so little to make their day. And if your Grandpa is anything like mine, sending him a topless photo or two you found on the Internet can’t hurt either.