My Grandpa's Traits Within Me | Teen Ink

My Grandpa's Traits Within Me

October 26, 2021
By Anonymous

Grandpa pushes me in a red rocket swing that hangs down from the worn playset. My giggles fill the autumn, crisp air. “Get back down here!” he shouts jokingly now standing on the side of the swing. I continue to pump my legs faster thinking I still had the assistance of my grandpa’s push, but his hand has slipped away and I was the one making myself reach maximum height. At that moment I thought he stopped to watch me, but now I realize he was allowing me to work hard to reach my goal on my own. Determination. 

Grandpa and I stand on the side of the road with Frisbees in our hands. “One pepperoni pizza please.” He hands off his worn Frisbee to me and I set it down by my side. I look around at the gravel around me, but at this moment these rocks turn into ingredients. The black boulders are fresh pepperoni slices, the grey pebbles are slices of mozzarella cheese, and the rare, white rocks are a secret ingredient that makes my pizzas so special. We imagine that the pile of rocks in front of us is fresh pizzas. Maybe it was making rock pizzas or playing house every day, but my imagination was always lit when I was with my grandpa. Creativity. 

I stand at the base of the faded, yellow slide connected to the playset. Gripping on the sides of the slide, I start the journey up. “What are you doing? You go up the stairs and down the slide.” He motions with his pointer and middle finger acting out a person walking up a flight of stairs. I ignore the comment and continue my way up. Reaching the top I look down to see my grandpa smiling and cheering me on with claps that echo off the house. Sliding back down is the easy part, so I stand up and turn around to climb back up again, deciding to take the more challenging path than the obvious one given to me. Assiduous.

The backyard now sits with a patch of dead grass where the playset used to stand. The gravel road is now replaced with tar. The laughter of a child and her grandpa is blown away by the wind of the present and now a 17-year-old girl takes their place. A 17-year-old filled with the traits developed by her grandpa.

Determination sits within me when first learning how to drive. The urge to go out every night and drive around the block until my breaking turned into a smooth stop and not a harsh slam that made the passenger jolt forward. The want, that led me to practice to the point where when I set foot in the DMV for the final test, I only got docked 2 points.  

My creativity follows me to Accent On Dance. In the studio, I twist and drag my feet around the floor to create a story for my audience. I show the story of a girl who just got broken up with or a girl reaching out for something that isn’t in reach. I close my eyes and fall into the emotion that my body is producing. Sorrow, Regret, Contentment. 

When I found out that I had to teach a K-5 class instead of just being the assistant my trait of being assiduous shined through. I went from walking kids to the bathroom to teaching lessons about all the beautiful things God has created for us. I stepped up and shared my knowledge with the next generation while getting through the thousands of questions that children seem to always have.  

Without these moments throughout my childhood, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I’m grateful to have these traits define who I am and I will make sure that I pass them onto many others as my grandpa did for me.

The author's comments:

When I was little my grandpa would come to the house every day and watch over me while my parents were at work. Throughout this time I learned a lot from him, but specifically, I developed to be who I am today because of the moments I shared with him. 

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