The plane landed in New York. Carol was excited and nervous at the same time. She hadn't seen her mother since the wedding back at her home in Denver. Her mother was busy as a bee, and she knew it. Carol was lucky she was able to talk to her mother on the phone once a week. Things had been looking up for Carol. Now that she was married, she had learned she was pregnant again. At thirty four, she was still relatively young enough to have more children. Actually she was quite surprised that she ended up pregnant again. Carol found her luggage and went to hail a taxi. Philip had come along with her, and stood there, helping his mother into the taxi. The drive to Maude's home in Tuckahoe was spent catching up with what was up with Philip. She felt she never saw him much anymore.
Maude smiled."Carol!! Please come inside, its cold out."
Carol smiled. Entering the house, she took off her winter coat which hid the pregnancy quite well. The sweater and wool skirt she wore did not hide it so much. The tight fitting sweater emphasized her curves well, and the small noticeable bump.
"Ma, I'm a grown woman…with a husband and children to support." She emphasized the word children, in reference to the fact that she was expecting again. Maude put an arm around her daughter, and smiled. She was excited for all the new things in Carol's life—a new job, new home in a new surrounding and now a new grandchild on the way. Carol had arrived in Tuckahoe to visit her mother and Walter. Maude was now a senator representing New York, and they now had two homes, one in Washington, and another was their original home in Tuckahoe. This week had begun recess for senators, so Maude and Walter returned to Tuckahoe to meet Carol and Philip. Carol's husband was away on a business trip, so he could not join the two of them. Maude hugged Carol and then Philip.
"I missed you both…it's been different without you guys here with Walter and I. How has everything been?" Carol had missed her mother too; it wasn't the same having her mother there to talk over problems with. Plus, now that Maude was busy with her new job and Carol with hers, it made communication difficult. Carol laid her head against her mother's shoulder.
"Oh mother…it's the usual. Work has kept me busy, doctor's appointments, Phillip, and my dear husband, who unfortunately could not be with us because of his business trip." Maude nodded. She remembered what it was like, raising Carol. Pouring a glass of vodka, Maude let the contents of the glass swish around before taking a sip. She set the glass down, and looked at her daughter.
"You're looking great, Carol. How far along are you?
Carol looked down at her stomach, placing a hand against it."Four months. We just found out it's a girl." Maude smiled."Congrats, dear." She hugged her. Philip shrugged.
"Yeah, mom just found out the other day. Her and Chris are excited, and mom wanted to know if I'd be excited having a sister." Chris was the man Carol had once dated, and then they broke it off. Two years ago, they met again and started dating again, getting really serious. Last year they married, and Chris formally adopted Phillip as a son. Phillip was having a difficult time adjusting to life in Denver with his mother and Chris. Leaving all his friends behind in Tuckahoe, he had difficulty making new friends in his new surroundings. Maude put an arm around the boy.
"So, are you excited?" She worried about Phillip. Carol had told her in one of their many conversations on the phone about how Phillip was having difficulty adjusting to school and his new surroundings. The new family arrangement was likely bothering the boy, especially the news of his mother's pregnancy.
Phillip sighed."I guess." Carol looked at Maude, a worried look on her face. Phillip exited the living room and headed into the kitchen. Turning to Maude, carol whispered, a concerned look on her face.
"I'm worried Mother. He's been like this since he learned we were expecting." Maude put an arm around her daughter.
"Carol, honey…he's feeling left out of the picture. Now that a new baby's on the way, he feels like he's ignored." Maude brushed a stray bang from Carol's face. Carol's eyes welled up with tears.
"We're trying to include him…but he keeps shutting us out. I don't know what to do anymore." She collapsed in tears as her mother held her.
"Carol, honey…its okay. Don't cry." She stroked her daughter's hair as Carol sobbed. Just as she was doing that, Phillip walked out of the kitchen, holding a sandwich. The sight of his mother crying hysterically worried him.
"Ma, what's wrong? Please don't cry."
Carol looked at her son, eyes red from crying. Motioning to him to come over, she took him in her arms and hugged him.
"We love you, Phillip. Even with this new baby on the way, we're not going to ignore you. Chris and I just want you to be happy." Phillip hugged his mother tightly.
"Really…you promise?" Carol nodded. Phillip smiled, realizing his mother was pregnant.
"Gee, I'm sorry about the way I acted. I guess I was jealous." Carol ruffled her son's hair.
"So, how do you feel about being a big brother?" she grinned. Phillip smiled.
"I guess it will be alright." Carol smiled.
"You'll like the idea once you get used to it." Maude was happy things were settled. She hugged Phillip and they headed into the kitchen. Smiling, Maude turned to her grandson and said, "Come in the kitchen, Phillip dear. I made your favorite cookies."
Phillip lit up."Chocolate chip?" Maude grinned.
"You bet! Fresh too." Maude smiled and led her grandson in to the kitchen, Carol trailing behind.