One of my grandma’s favourite stories to tell was about how much of a little rascal my brother Michael was as a child. Out of the three (and much later even four) of her grandchildren, Michael was the one that caused her the most grief.
Her story began innocently enough, on a snowy afternoon when my grandparents were babysitting the two of us at our house. My brother grabbed his little plastic shovel and offered to help my grandfather remove snow off of our porch and driveway. After they’d spent about an hour out there, my grandmother was anxious to get Michael into the warmth of the house and into dry clothes. But Michael, stubborn as a mule even back then, wasn’t ready to stop.
My grandfather remembered he had a bag of salt he could use for the iciest bits left on the driveway at home, and decided to drive to their house a few blocks away. My grandmother, sensing her chance to get Michael inside, told my grandfather to take both shovels with him in the car.
“I’m sorry,” my grandmother told Michael as she ushered him inside. “Abuelo took your shovel, time to take off your snowsuit and drink some hot chocolate.”
She left him to change as she tended to me in my crib upstairs. Alarm bells sounded in her head when she heard the front door slam shut. My grandmother ran downstairs and onto the porch just in time to see my grandfather’s grey Oldsmobile turning off the street and my brother, still in his red snow suit, tailing behind him.
My grandmother flew down the street in her t-shirt and house slippers. Not typically an athletic woman, she must have summoned her superhuman grandmother strength to pull this chase off. As she hurtled down the snowy streets, all the terrible things that could happen to Michael flashed before her eyes. He could get lost. He could be abducted. He could get hit by a car!
When she finally arrived at her own house, she found my grandfather’s car in the driveway and my brother sitting angelically on the porch chair next to the front door. Both overjoyed and overwhelmed to find him safe and seemingly unaffected, she asked him where my grandfather was. Michael shrugged and said the door was locked.
My grandmother pounded on her front door until my perpetually cheerful grandfather opened the door confused. He’d had no idea about the frenzied parade he’d led. He’d just been in the bathroom!
When the three of them arrived back at my house, my six-month-old self was still asleep in my crib. I was blissfully unaware of the crazy family I had been fortunate enough to be born into.