One of the best things about growing up in a small town with your whole family only blocks away is growing up close to your grandparents.
Their home is a second home to me. Some of my favorite memories from growing up take place in their living room opening presents during Christmas, or their backyard in the summer playing kickball with all of my cousins, or their porch at nighttime trying to find shooting stars and bats in the sky, or their sunroom on sunny afternoons watching the birds on the feeders right outside. Every holiday, celebration and big event wasn't complete without them. They were there to witness every big or small event throughout my life. Growing up close with my grandparents is something I never realized I was so lucky to have until I was all grown up.
They came to see all of my school events, from my choir concerts in elementary school to my plays and musicals in middle school to my honor society induction to high school. They cheered me on from day one. When I bought my first prom dress, the first thing I did was stop by their house on the way home to show them, and my grandfather kept the picture of me in my dress on his phone for years after. They babysat me while my brother had baseball games or soccer games or piano lessons. My brother and I slept over at their house many times when we were little, and they always made sure to have VHS tapes for us to watch and lots of snacks for us to eat. They were like a second set of parents to us.
When I was dumped for the first time, my grandmother held me in her lap when I was noticeably upset. Even though I was seventeen, I wasn't embarrassed because to me, she is my comfort and my safety. When my grandfather passed away, he passed his car along to me, and on really hot days, you can still sort of smell his cologne on the upholstery. He has this blanket he always kept on his bed that's big and puffy and comfy, and whenever we would nap at their house, we would wake up with the blanket covering us. To me, he was also my comfort and safety.
I am so lucky to have spent so much time with my grandparents throughout the years. I don't think there was a single week I didn't see them at least once. From going out to eat on a random weekday night to celebrating every holiday alongside them, to hanging out at their house for hours on end, to spending many summers at their beach house with them, I am beyond blessed to have a childhood filled with so many sweet memories with my amazing grandparents.