I was “kidnapped” when I was an infant, but this story doesn’t have a sad ending. On the contrary, I think it is not only curious but also kind of funny, except for one of the persons involved, as you are going to see.
I was around one month old by then. Our backyard was covered with snow from a very hard winter. My mother used to feed me early in the morning and, afterwards, she was busy with her things, reassured that I was peacefully sleeping inside my cradle. In the middle of a certain morning, she returned to her bedroom to find an empty space where I was supposed to be.
You and I can only guess the affliction my mother must have experienced in that moment. She was a young wife and mother. She must have felt indescribable pain and fear: pain of loosing her daughter and fear of being seen as a bad mother.
She ran in panic to the street. She must have cried for help, before searching for my father. He wasn’t at his office. She returned in tears to find him already at home, waiting for her with a calm smile on his face. Guessing what was going on in my mother’s mind, he said instantly:
“She is sleeping there! I had to take her this way. You left me with no other choice!”
Hearing this, my mother must have felt like a lioness. How could her husband “kidnap” their only child, leaving her in such agonizing situation? In order to explain my father’s strange attitude, I have to go back on time and confess something not very pleasant about my existence. Since my mother knew she was pregnant, a terrible “war” started between my parents. That way, without even existing, I was the reason for my parents’ first serious disagreement.
The matter opposing my father and mother was my name. If I was a boy, my mother accepted to give me her father-in-law name. She liked his name and she also liked him. After admitting giving to the first born the name of her father-in-law, she felt she had the right to pick a name if by chance I was a girl. My father had a very different perspective. If as a boy I was supposed to have his father’s name, why not his mother’s if a girl?
For my mother, there were a couple of reasons against his intentions. First of all, she didn’t like my grandmother name, she didn’t like her very much and she didn’t like the closeness between her husband and his mother. When my mother saw that I was a girl, she immediately decided to give me her own name. She liked the sound and the meaning of it. For her, it was a done deal!
During my first month, the subject was discussed over and over without a compromise. I believe that without my father’s extreme action, I would be a no name person by now. Perhaps my father concluded the same. Facing the impossibility of reaching a definitive agreement, and not wanting to go back with what he promised to his own mother, he went “clever” and at the same time conciliatory. He succeeded in entering the house and taking me without a single noise. After such boldness, he decided to be a little less radical and give me both names: my grandmother’s name first, followed by my mother’s.
Well, this was the worst he could do to her. I remember to hear my mother complaining about his dishonesty. I was a teenager by then, and the subject was still hot between them. As it is evident, my mother could have her sweet moments of vengeance. First she gave me a nickname and she never used or created situations to use my first name. She simply ignored it. Secondly, the moment my sister was born, she decided to give her “my name”. Right now we are six on line, in three generations, to have the same name.
I was remembered of all this, because of the pain parents go through when they loose a child. For what I can recollect from my mother, and if I was kidnapped for real, I do believe she would be in the same place waiting for my return until the last day of her life!