This I Believe

noah - durango, Colorado
Entered on January 27, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

“In the old days, I had to walk three miles to and from school in the snow, uphill both ways.”

Any of you who have had the privilege to know your grandparents will have undoubtedly heard this saying in one form or another. And when you hear it you think, “Oh Jeez, not gramps and his bumbling old talk of the “good ol’ days” again.” You just want to get up and go play video games on the XBOX 360 or go and sit and watch American Idol on TV, while gramps mutters, “Kids these days. They just have no respect for their elders,” and begins to regal himself with his memories of the Great Depression, WWII, and the Cold War.

You all know what I’m talking about. I sure know all about it as it has happened to me many times. But have you actually sat down and listened to the stories? If you do, you’ll be in for a surprise.

Of course the war stories are the best. Real life stories of life and death, bravery and fear. It kinds of makes you feel proud that someone related to you fought in a war to protect America’s freedom. But the other stories are just as good. Tales of the hardship and uncertainty of the Great Depression. Are we going to be able to eat tomorrow. Are we going to be able just to wake up in the morning and get up and keep going. Kind of makes you see how good you have it now. And then the constant fear of the U.S.S.R. A story of monumental ups and downs. The story goes from, “Ohh my gosh, they’ve got nukes in Cuba!,” to, “YEAH!! You go President Kennedy. Stick it to the reds!,” and then, “Ha!! We put a man on the moon. The Commies can go to that place far below for all I care. We’re better than them.”

These stories and the tons of others grandparents have bottled up in their heads are great ways to have fun passing the time. They range from action and adventure to uncertainty and fear. They always have one perfect for the moment.

And of course the grandparents. They love it because they can pass on their experiences to people who appreciate them. I mean come on, who wouldn’t like that. And remember. When you’re a grandparent with your wealth of stories and you’re grandchildren are doing the same thing you’re doing now, won’t you want to just sit them down and tell them about the “good ol’ days” when cars still drove on the ground and video games were confined to the TV. I will.

This I Believe. There’s more to grandparents than meets the eye.