Granny cursed me once.
In a moment of fire and brimstone fury, she locked her jaw, bulged out her eyeball at me and declared, “One day, you will have a little girl just like you!” she bellowed. “Hopefully, there’ll be 10 of ‘em – just to show you a thing or two!”
I was maybe 12 at the time and undoubtedly, I had angered the old gal to no end, which was an easy task given an off-course wind could infuriate her.
I was not entirely sure what I had done, but I am sure it was one of two possible transgressions. 1. I had back-talked Granny and Granny considered anything less than total agreement with her to be a sign of defiance, betrayal and family treason.
2. I had not done something she had told me to do, which was also considered a biological treason.
Either one could invoke her ire and wrath.
Given the velocity of her malediction, it may have been a combo of both.
Those words stayed with me throughout the rest of my young adulthood, as I lived in fear of what she proclaimed would maybe happen. So I tried to be a good girl. I did.
I tried to watch my sassy mouth, too, because usually, it was my mouth that got me in trouble. All I knew, the old gal had cursed me and I must have been a dreadful, awful monster if she wanted me to have 10 just like me.
I lived with this cloud hanging over my head through my early adulthood. When I was told at age 30 I couldn’t have kids, I was terribly heartbroken but momentarily wondered – had I avoided some terrible curse?
Medical science was proved wrong, and I thought I had dodged some Granny-sized bullet when I had Cole.
Little boys love their mama’s, and usually don’t have quite the drama little girls can have.
I remembered my own drama and angst. In hindsight, it was nothing. During the time of occurrence, it was enough to fill at least five different shows on the WB.
Besides, Granny had cursed me with girls – she made no mention of boys.
I had been coated in Teflon and shrouded in Kevlar.
Let me preface this by saying, Cole is an exceptionally good child. He is well-behaved. He is polite. He is tenderhearted and compassionate.
We even called the year he was two “terrific” instead of “terrible.”
Cole is sweet, like his father.
Lamar is a genuinely sweet and kind person. He may have a mean bone somewhere in his skeletal makeup that is well hidden by the fact he seldom speaks, but I think after a dozen years it would have surfaced.
But like me, Cole is stubborn and will argue his point until he feels satisfied he has been heard.
He can be quite the tenacious little taskmaster.
He will over-talk me to the point I forget he is just 10.
“Cole, you need to stop talking and listen for a change,” I reprimand him.
A look of fleeting defiance flashes across his face.
“You need to try listening for a change, too, Mama,” he said. “I am trying to explain to you but you are the one not listening.”
“And I was telling you the reason you aren’t. It is not up for discussion.”
He stammers and starts, spurts and tries to find verbal footing in the war field between us.
“Stop,” I caution him. “Just stop.”
His little chin goes up and he looks me in the eyes: “No, I won’t.”
He doesn’t, either.
He gets something stuck in his craw and he won’t let it go.
Our latest battles have included how he wants to get a go-cart, which I am against.
The worst part is, he doesn’t just defiantly argue with me, tossing demands and declarations at me – no, this child of mine has researched and Googled everything there is to support his position on the case.
He has to have the last word and he is never, not ever, wrong.
He can wear me out to the point there have been times I say: “Just go see what your Daddy says.”
I told Mama about Granny’s curse, something she was not aware of at the time.
“Granny cursed you?” she was appalled to hear this but not necessarily surprised. The old gal’s wrath could and usually included immediate family.
“She did. She said she hoped I had 10 little girls just like me – because you know I was pretty much the devil incarnate according to her.”
“She only thought you were bad when you stood up to her,” Mama said. “And you both are so stubborn and headstrong and had to be right -I am surprised the two of you didn’t implode just being in the same room together. I don’t think there is or was anything wrong with the way you were.”
Mama didn’t say, however, that 10 little girls just like me would be a blessing.
She probably knew that would be quite too much sassy mouthness to deal with.
To give herself a reprieve, Mama asked how Cole was doing.
“He is mad at me right now,” I told her.
“He’s not really mad at you; he’s crazy about his Mama.”
True, he is. But this time, he wasn’t calling me his “sweet girl.”
He had been shoving an opened lap top in front of my face to show me charts, websites and other substantiated evidence to support his claims.
Mama started a slow giggle that erupted into a full blown wheeze.
I frowned. I didn’t find it funny that my child was being what Granny would have deemed disrespectful and told him to go pick out his own hickory.
“You don’t even see it, do you?” Mama asked between her gasps for air.
The wheezing sounded like a gale force hurricane.
“You may not have had the 10 little girls; you didn’t have to,” she said. “You met your match in one little boy.”