M3 PT - July 2019

WEST HILLS 7230 MEDICAL CENTER DRIVE, SUITE 401 WEST HILLS, CA 91307 WEST LOS ANGELES 10474 SANTA MONICA BLVD., SUITE 435 LOS ANGELES, CA 90025

WWW.M3PT.COM / LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 / JULY 2019

M3 AND ME

In the previous two editions, we honored and paid tribute to the important mothers and fathers in our lives. This month it seems fitting to pay tribute to the true patriarchs and matriarchs in my family members’ lives: my kids’ grandparents. Nothing brings families together more than the dinner table, especially when you’re having homemade Indian food. That’s why my kids love Mondays, when “Nana” and “Nani” (my wife’s parents) come over to visit. Nani always brings one of her signature dishes, and Nana always has great stories to tell. Watching our kids bond with their grandparents is incredibly touching for my wife and me. I didn’t get a chance to know my own grandparents. I have some memories of my grandmothers, but they passed when I was very young. Having Nana and Nani live 15 minutes away and my own parents (“Grandpa” and “Grandma” to my kids) in Orange County has been a real blessing. Both sets go the extra mile to play an active role in their grandkids’ lives, and the effect is nothing short of magical. FOOD, STORIES, AND LOVE HERE’S TO THE GRANDPARENTS My parents come to visit once a month, and, much like Nana and Nani, they bring plenty of delicious homemade food. The kids will happily devour any and all Mexican cuisine but, by far, the star of the show is Grandpa’s salsa verde. In fact, they put

I think this is an experience most first-generation immigrants can relate to. When my parents came to the U.S., they wanted desperately for their kids to assimilate. The more we were able to relate to our classmates, the easier time we would have fitting in. So naturally, many traditions, practices, and ways of life that had been essential to my parents’ Mexican Catholic upbringing took a back seat. There was no time to look back on the life they’d left behind; they had to focus on the lives they were building for us here in the States.

“IT’S IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO SEE THE BEAUTY IN THEIR SHARED HERITAGE WHEN WE WATCH OUR KIDS ENJOY SALSA RIGHT ALONGSIDE LENTILS AND CHICKEN CURRY.”

My wife had a very similar experience with her parents. She was told little about life in India beyond the most important Hindu traditions. While this may have been a necessary sacrifice to make our childhoods easier, it meant we were ill-equipped to communicate these important parts of our heritage to our children. That’s why we’re so fortunate our kids have their grandparents so close at hand. Now that they’ve built successful lives for themselves, they feel more comfortable revisiting their roots and passing them on to the next generation.

And just as Nani, Nana, Grandma, and Grandpa share these stories of the past, our kids share their new experiences in school and sports. Both sets of grandparents love keeping up with their grandkids’ lives; you can see the joy and energy it gives them. Watching these two generations

that stuff on just about everything, including Nani’s Indian food! It’s impossible not to see the beauty in their shared heritage when we watch our kids enjoy salsa right alongside lentils and chicken curry. They blend traditions to create new and delicious meals. But as these two generations come together, they share more than just food. The kids love practicing their Spanish with Grandma and Grandpa and learning new Hindi words from Nani and Nana. And both sets of

eat, laugh, and learn from one another is an incredible experience. My wife and I are so

grateful that both of our parents set aside the time to come see us and bring their food, stories, and love to the dinner table.

grandparents enjoy sharing the stories and traditions from their youth, bringing back treasured memories of their homelands. Often, my wife and I are just as enraptured by these stories as our children.

–Dr. Raul Lona

LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 | 1

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