Albeit growing up in different eras, we still connect with our grandparents, simply because we are family. Their stories and knowledge hold valuable lessons and help us to learn what makes a family.

Here are some favourite recollections of our grandparents who have made us laugh, cry and frustrate us at times but definitely make our lives a lot more meaningful just by being there for us.

Grandparents as Mentors

Grandparents have decades of experience – the perfect mentor for children. They can teach grandchildren about culture, useful life skills and values.

“My grandparents had a pool where I learnt to swim every weekend. My grandpa was my first swimming coach, and he is still going strong till this day” – Nathan.

“I was not allowed to buy clothes for my dolls so my Grandma made me some. She taught me to sew and use the machine. I’m now a fashion designer in the making.” – Elisia

Grandparents as Tradition-Setters

This means setting family traditions that binds family members, drawing the extended family closer and ensuring we never feel alone. Some traditions set by grandparents could very well have been passed down by the elders before them.

“Our family loves durian! Granddad will come home in the middle of the night with a bunch of durians in a huge paper sack from his friends who sells them, then wakes us all up so that we can have them as a midnight snack. We still do this occasionally as a family tradition.” – Calvin

“I love spending the lantern festival with my grandparents! They will always get me the fanciest lanterns, especially the ones with music and I will be parading around our neighbourhood with pride.” - Jia Wei

“Mah Mah used to prepare me for bedtime and would always tuck my t-shirts under a super elastic, high-waist pants to prevent me from catching a cold. Never liked that look but I can never get this habit off me now.” - Jen

“Our family moved to America for a couple of years for my dad’s job, but we always had Skype sessions with our grandparents during the weekends and ate lunch together, through Skype, as a family.” – Raymond and Rachael

Grandparents as Memory Makers

Spending time with grandparents teaches children to be patient and respectful. The habits of older folks can seem funny and weird to children and trying to understand older folks may seem impossible. Yet, the quirks of our grandparents may become the fondest memories we have of our grandparents.

“I came back from work one day and Grandma said she fixed my jeans. They were my distressed jeans, and I couldn’t help thinking how cute my grandma was.” – Daphne

“My name is Gerald but my popo calls me Jeh-llo😂. And the whole family calls me by that” – Gerald

“My grandpa had Alzheimer’s, he often did not know the way back to his home but somehow remembered the way to mine.” – Joey

“I lived really close to my grandparents and grandpa used to pick me up after school. We would visit our favourite chicken rice stall for lunch. These days, we are unable to visit the place as often due to his deteriorating health. It’s one of the best memories that I would always cherish!” – Jun Xiong

Grandparents Show Up to Love

Having raised kids to adults, grandparents who choose to be involved will show up, hug and play with your kids, showering them with unconditional love. They play the “thieves” in police-and-thieves, give free horseback rides, pretend to giveup or lose at games so your kid feels like a champion.

“One day, ah gong told me that I was his favourite grandchild. The next day, I heard from my cousin that she was his favourite grandchild. A month later, my younger cousin told me he was the ultimate favourite grandchild. Ah gong sure knows how to play with our hearts.” - Rendall

“My grandma was a feisty old lady who always had a comeback to everything you said. But if you ever came to her sad, she had the best hugs and traditional desserts waiting for you.” – Josiah

“I cried a lot when I first entered Primary 1 -- almost every day for 6 months. Rain or shine, my grandma would sneak into school to make sure I was okay and always brought my favourite food for recess too. Miss her so much.” – Lynn