Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It's a Wonder I'm Still Here

I went home last week to visit my grandmother. She's my mother's mother, the kind woman who left her native homeland half a world away to come take care of me when I was eight-years-old. She was sent here because of a conversation I had with my dad while I was at my babysitter's house.

Dad: Where's Alba?

Me: She went with her son to walk the dog.

Dad: She left you all alone? With your one-year-old sister?

Me: She does this all the time.

Dad: Take Judy and go get her. Tell her I want to talk to her.

Me: I can't.

Dad: What do you mean, you can't?

Me: I can't open the door from the inside, she locked it from the outside.

To his credit, my father remained calm, but later that night, he tore Alba a new one. What if there had been a fire? Do you know HOW DANGEROUS THAT IS?

We never went back.

It was kind of strange, because I used to see Alba's son at the playground all the time, and he would pretend that he didn't know who I was. I would say, "Remember? Your mom used to babysit me and we used to play Atari games in your living room."

He always shook his head and said, "That was someone else. I don't know you."

It really used to mess me up, to a point where I thought, "Maybe I DID make it all up!"

Anyway, when I saw my grandmother, she told me a funny story about me when I was about seven months old.

"I put you on the bed, surrounded you with a comforter, and told you not to climb over it. I made gestures, I hit my head with my hand to show you what would happen if you did, and you nodded at me. And you were so good! You understood and didn't climb over. When my sister came to visit, she said, 'I don't think that's a safe place for her.' And I told her not to worry, because you were so smart!"

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