I’m trying to keep myself busy as LG and my grandfather bond in the kitchen. They’re baking Chinese buns – I don’t have that kind of patience to master the baking trade.
I have my earphones in, but I can hear the low rumbling of their conversation in the next room. So, obviously I pause everything to eavesdrop; I can hear my grandfather telling LG about how my grandmother used to bake these buns, something about a village, something about selling the buns. I wanted to go over and join the conversation, but in my 26 years he has never really shared those kinds of stories with me like he does with LG. My dad’s generation (with my uncle and aunt) heard all the stories of mama and yehyeh’s early days and then were part of the rest of it. For us grandchildren, we hear stories here and there usually in a joking way about how they started from the bottom, but it has – in my experience – never gone beyond that.
After my grandmother passed away, we were engaged and starting to plan our forever lives. That’s when my grandfather stepped in, and his and LG’s relationship started to get closer. He talked to us (mostly LG) about our finances and helped us find a home to grow in. He’s been mentoring LG in the kitchen to help prep FNDs and teaching him how to make our favourite dishes. I’ve never witnessed a relationship like it before.
LG has always fit very well in my family, especially my dad’s side. I’ve always, always said that he is so good to me, taking care of and loving me; but the same is true in regards to my family as well. During FND, he has helped out from the beginning – setting up, preparing food, cleaning up, taking out the garbage. He has never thought to himself, ‘I’m the guest, I should have special treatment,’ even though my family tried to put him in that position. He’s always played with my little cousins. He shaved my grandmother’s head when she was losing hair from her cancer treatment. He just steps up, all the time. I think my grandfather (although never said aloud) appreciates him, and that’s part of why he has accepted LG with such open arms.
It is not uncommon at all for everyone to be butting heads on a Friday night. We are quite the Type A personality in this household, and when you have a handful of Type A’s sitting at the same table it gets a little messy. In my non-professional opinion, LG is more of a Type C/D (but he says so too). Where my grandfather tells instead of suggests and we snap back, LG will nod and follow instruction to perfection (probably why he is totally in charge of the veggie dish at FND now). Where we all try to delegate tasks to each other, LG will have already finished that task. He goes above and beyond, and I’m so blessed that he is my forever family.
Which brings us to today: I’m sitting in the dining room, and Yehyeh and LG are making yummy buns.
I was jealous at first, but I get why their relationship works so well. I get to experience the relationship vicariously through LG, and I appreciate that it continues to grow. My grandparents on my dad’s side have always held authority and sat as figureheads in my world. We were only as close as we could be, and our conversations were mostly orders or words of wisdom. It was never an intimate relationship. Now that I’ve seen a brand new side of how my grandfather can be, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Things have shifted, and I love this new light.
When I got married, Yehyeh was the only grandparent I had there from my family. He was the one who represented a whole generation before me. Although I wish that I could have been so blessed to have all my grandparents there, I know that my grandfather did an excellent job holding a whole generation on his shoulders. He was the one who blessed our union and signed as a witness on our marriage certificate. He carried all the wisdom of the marriages before us that had to persevere through hard times.
Mhmm, their relationship is a good thing. We’ll see about those buns though.