A Mother's Revenge
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A Mother's Revenge

By Maria Daddino

I couldn’t wait to become a grandma. And it didn’t help that most of my friends already had grandchildren, some many times over. They regaled me with tales of the wonders of “grandma-hood,” and though I enjoyed listening to their stories, it was when they said “someday, you’ll understand ... ” that my feathers got a bit ruffled.  

After what seemed like an eternity, one late winter’s evening I got “the call.” It was my oldest son, Tommy, with the exciting news: “Mom, Sharon and I are pregnant!”  

The feelings of joy and the excitement of becoming a grandmother are indescribable. How totally awesome is it that your son—whose little hand fit so comfortably into yours, who climbed on your lap enveloping you with hugs and kisses—is now going to be a father? How can it be that your little boy, the one with the big Irish blue eyes and the Italian olive skin, is having a baby of his own?  

After I calmed down, I happily awaited the results of the next sonogram. This time the news was even more exciting: “Mom, you’re not going to believe this: Sharon and I are having twins!”  

Once again, I eagerly awaited the results from the next sonogram. And this time the news was incredulous: “Mom, guess what? It’s amazing. You are really not going to believe this. They found another heartbeat. It’s triplets!”  

I was absolutely ecstatic! After all, Tommy and Sharon would be doing all the hard work. I’d just be having fun and enjoying my grandchildren—though I will admit that three grandchildren might be a good place to stop!  

The triplets were due in August and, on the Mother’s Day before the exciting and blessed event, my son sat me down, with a very serious demeanor: “Mom, there’s something really important that I want to talk to you about.”  

Immediately, my heart skipped a beat. All I could think of was that something was wrong with the babies.  

But I had no reason to fear. Actually, I began to giggle to myself as Tommy, very contritely, began to apologize for all of the bad things that he had done that I had found out about, and the things that I did not know about.

I guess that, as the day of my grandchildren’s arrival neared, my oldest son was thinking about all of those “wishes” I had made in the past.  

Did he really think this mother’s “curse” could be lifted with a simple apology, no matter how heartfelt?  

My “wishes” were usually directed toward my two older sons. Bobby, the middle one, was the original “wild child” who always seemed to get caught. Tommy, I suspected, was even wilder, but I could never prove it. He was too smooth.  

As for Michael, my third son, all I can say is that for many years I thought all families should start with the third child.  

As for my motherly “revenge”: I had the pleasure of watching my two older sons shocked at the behavior of Luke and William as the 3-year-olds fought over the nearly identical toy train sets that “Uncle Bobby” had given them. “Can you believe it, Mom? They’re fighting over the same toy! They both want the blue one. We were never like that!”  

Oh, really?!  

And there was a certain satisfaction in watching Julia look at my son and, with those big brown eyes, saying, “Daddy, I want to listen to you ... but my hands won’t listen to me.”  

You go, girl!  

When the triplets turned 2, Tommy and Sharon wondered if they could have another baby without all the hoopla that came with a triplet pregnancy—and, on the first try, along came Matthew.  

And, so, in a few short years I had caught up with and surpassed most of my friends, and had stories that most grandmas could never even begin to understand. How sweet it is.

 

 Maria Daddino writes the “From Fourth Neck” column for The Southampton Press Western Edition.

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