living with abuelaWhen I was a child, my grandmother, I called her "nana," lived with us for months at a time every year. She didn't live with us full-time, but the stays were too long to really qualify as visits. She had 13 children so she would kind of rotate. At some point I started to notice that my non-Latino friends did not have a grandmother living with them. Hmmm, I wondered, is it a cultural thing? Do abuelas only get to live with you if you are Latino? What's up with that? Where do all the gringa abuelas live? I still haven't figured that one out.

It's been a very long time since I shared a home with my abuela, she is no longer alive. Now that I am an adult, I can tell you that I'm super happy that I did get to spend time living with her when I was a child and that I am a better person because of it. There are lessons to be learned from living with your abuela.

Read more ¿Qué más?: 10 Things your abuela NEVER wants to hear

Just think about all the coolness that an abuela brings to a household. Here are just 10 reasons why it rocks to live with your abuela when you are a kid:

  • She is passionate about you keeping your Spanish even when you start going to school and speaking mostly English. Years later you realize what a gift it is to speak more than one language and you will forever be grateful for her determination.

  • She makes the best sopas and caldos you will ever taste and even though you don't think you are paying attention when she's cooking, you learn how to make those delicious soups too. They will never be as good as hers, but they are still pretty awesome.

  • She makes you realize that your mother wasn't always your mother and that there is still someone in the world who can tell your mother what to do.

  • She gives you an appreciation for telenovelas and because she made you watch El Maléfico whether you wanted to or not, you will forever admire the work of Erika Buenfil.

  • She also introduced you to El Chavo del Ocho! There is nothing like El Chavo on English-language TV.

  • She shows you that you have to use it or lose it. No, she doesn't go to the gym, but at 80 plus years, she still goes for walks and can touch her toes because she never stopped.

  • She teaches you history that you could never learn from books. Watch the news with her and she will tell you things that lead up to where you are now because she has lived through them and remembers.

  • She knits you booties out of scraps of yarn so that your feet are never cold.

  • She shows you that a person at any age always has something to offer and that their opinions matter.

  • She lets you know time and time again that she was not born yesterday. Just follow her lead and she will get you a discount even when things aren't on sale because she knows how to ask and isn't embarrassed to do so.

Abuela, I miss you! I'm sorry if when I had the chance to live with you I didn't truly realize how good I had it. I hope that someday I am able to give my nietos as many gifts as you gave me.

If you are lucky enough to have an abuela in your home, go give her a hug and tell her how much she rocks.

Image via Thinkstock

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About the author

You can find Claudya Martinez on her own blog Unknown Mami. Stop by, she loves visitors. Of course you can also find her on Twitter or Facebook.

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Filed Under: abuela, culture, inspiration
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