This I Believe

Nicole - New Boston, Michigan
Entered on April 21, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, love, work

Wise beyond my years

My grandfather is a man who can come off as controlling and demanding to anyone who may not know him, but I know what his true intentions are behind his demeanor. My grandfather, or as I like to call him, Papa has done the best he can to direct me on a path… a path meant to make me wise beyond my years.

He is well known for giving continuous advice, even when you don’t ask for it. Always striving to make me an all around better person. When it came to sports he would have me outside practicing for hours on end, even when I didn’t want to. He would just look at me and say “you’ll thank me when you’re older.” I would reluctantly obey his command, doing it just to please him. When in fact this was part of a bigger plan for me, it was a small step in teaching me that practice makes perfect.

During my high school years he pushed me to study hard, to get into a good college, so I can have a good career. He would frequently flip through the TV. channels and stop at the Spanish channel and leave it there for a moment then hit the mute button. He would then turn to me and ask me what they said. If I could not tell him what was said I had to hit the books and study more.

He would often tell me stories of the mistakes he had made in his past, in hopes that I could learn from them without having to make them myself, again striving to make me wise beyond my years. Papa made sure I had no regrets in my life, because

“Regrets are mistakes that you don’t learn from”, and he kept me grounded stopping me from not appreciating the little things in life.

Last year he helped me make a vegetable garden. We dug it by hand; raked and watered it, planted seeds and plants, and watched it grow. Showing me that anything worth having is worth working hard for. He took great pride in this garden. It was something we worked on together with our own two hands. He hadn’t worked on a garden since he was a mere child who grew up on a farm. Papa showed me tricks that they had used back in the day to keep bugs away from the plants without having to use pesticides.

Now as an adult, I work hard at all that I do, and try to make my papa proud of me. I may not get everything right the first time around but I’m allowed to make some mistakes. I think of him in all that I do, but most of all I try not to forget the words of wisdom he has given me in his quest to make me wise beyond my years.