A Grand Kind of Benefit

tata and elijah

Elijah on his baptism day, with his great-grandfather, Robert Borrego.

This week, my two youngest children are staying with my mother in Southern California, where they will spend their days searching for sand crabs at the beach, driving through citrus orchards, & filling their tummies on my grandmother’s homemade goodness. For the past year, my mom has been living with my grandparents, whom we call Nana & Tata. Thankfully, they are both still in very good health, though they are pushing 90 years of age. My mom’s presence in their home allows them the luxury of a personal chauffeur, extra help around the house, and the daily company of their eldest daughter.

My Nana & Tata are pretty amazing. There’s no other way around it. And, yes, I’m a little biased, being their granddaughter and all…but truly, they are. My Nana is sharp, witty, and humorous (like side-splitting, Lucille Ball humorous).  I like to joke that she has a more active night life than I do! I swear, that woman is constantly on the go, whether she’s scouting out the latest sales in town, or kicking up dust on the dance floor, she is a force to be reckoned with. She’s traveled the world, saved a life (literally), and can story-tell like nobody’s business. My Tata, though much more homey and of a quieter nature, remains active in his own way…attending town hall meetings, writing editorials, volunteering his time at the neighborhood parish, and constantly reading.

My grandparents have influenced me in countless ways, from their generosity & compassion, to their commitment to restorative justice and civil rights (especially at the local level.) I am so incredibly grateful to have them in my lives. Their faith, world outlook, and unconditional love helped mold me into the person I am today.

Now onto the really cool part…

My own children have also been able to spend ample time around my grandparents as they’ve grown up especially my two oldest, who have been forming memories with them for nearly two decades now. I know their legacy will live on in the spirit of their grandchildren that they’ve so lovingly tended to. I’m grateful for this.

Once again, I think back on my life, and feel satisfied with the fact that I wouldn’t change a thing. Especially the young parenthood thing. And this is just one of the many reasons why.