GRANDMA'S ANGRY MOMENT
I am five years old and my mommy and daddy took a drive somewhere. My grandma came out to babysit my baby sister and me. Grandma lives in New York City. We take the bus and the train to go see her and my grandpa. My grandpa is a tailor. He has his own store. I love my grandma a lot; she cares for me and my little sister. My sister’s name is Louise. I’m two years older than her. I don’t like her very much. She annoys me.
My mommy and daddy went away. My daddy drove the Edsel. Mommy drives too but only when daddy is not around. I rode my bike for a while. Then I played in the garage; that’s where daddy keeps a lot of his garden tools. We have a lawn mower, but I’m not old enough yet to mow the grass. Daddy says I can mow the grass when I get bigger. Daddy has a lot more tools in his workshop; that’s in the basement. He has a big eclectric [sic] saw in his workshop. I got a new bike for my birthday; my birthday is in April. Our next door neighbors gave me the new bike; it’s red. Their names are Jerry and Eleanor. They have a daughter; her name is Debbie. I’m one year older than she is. Debbie has blond hair and plays with my sister, but I never play with them. I don’t like Debbie. She bugs me. A lot. My sister bugs me a lot, too.
I got tired of riding my bike, and wanted to play with dad’s tools in the garage.
Then grandma came out to the garage. She wanted to see what I was doing. Grandma
told me to move my bike, but I didn’t want to. It was in the driveway, and grandma said that mommy and daddy were coming home soon and I had to move my bike so daddy
didn’t run over it. I didn’t listen to grandma. She told me to move my bike again. I said NO! No means no.
That’s when grandma grabbed the dish towel. She had a dish towel on her shoulder and she grabbed the dish towel and raised it over her head. Grandma scared me. She looked like a scary monster. I thought she was going to hit me with the dish towel. Grandma has never hit me or my sister. Grandma’s eyes looked different; they were flashing. She was angry at me, the way daddy gets sometimes when I don’t do what he says.
I just learned how to tell time. I know that a minute is sixty seconds. This minute when grandma looked like she was going to hit me with the dish towel felt like 30 minutes, maybe more... maybe an hour. She didn’t move, I didn’t move. I just stared at her.
And she stared back. I was frozen, like the hamburgers mommy keeps in the freezer.
After a long time, grandma dropped her arm and put the dish towel back over her shoulder. She didn’t hit me. That’s all I cared about. Grandma didn’t hit me. She went back into the house. She didn’t say anything; she just shook her head. I walked down our long driveway and picked up my bike and walked it back to the garage.
Grandma and I had a crisis. I think that’s the right word, but I’m not sure. I love my grandma, and I know my grandma loves me. More than anything in the world. If my grandma hit me, it would be the worst thing in the world. I would never trust anybody again, never. But grandma didn’t hit me. Grandma got angry with me because I didn’t listen to her, but she didn’t hit me. She taught me what it means to love... to really love
from the bottom of your heart. I think that’s what grown ups call uncontinuous [sic] love. Thanks to grandma, I learned how to love, too. That lesson was about one minute long, but it has lasted over fifty years. Thank you, grandma, for teaching me that you can love