2007-05-10 / News

Every day is a celebration of mother's day

By Michaela Kennedy

The Baccari-Varrecchione family includes, top row, from left, Christopher, Nicholas, 14, Isabella, 3, Susan, Alessandro, 14. In front are Dimitri, 10, Giancarlo, 9 and Antonio, 10. Photo by Michaela Kennedy The Baccari-Varrecchione family includes, top row, from left, Christopher, Nicholas, 14, Isabella, 3, Susan, Alessandro, 14. In front are Dimitri, 10, Giancarlo, 9 and Antonio, 10. Photo by Michaela Kennedy Mother's Day falls on May 13, which is also the 15th wedding anniversary of Susan Baccari and Christopher Varrechione. The day may turn into a zany affair for Baccari, who is the mother of six. But then again, madcap adventures seem part of the daily routine at the big house on Rub Street.

Baccari was up early last Saturday to set up the concession at the ball field. "I'm here already, so I may as well run the concession stand," she said. Between work at the family business and running a household, Baccari chauffeurs her five boys to soccer, baseball or basketball games, with baby girl Isabella in tow. After the baseball game, Baccari went home to prepare for a 75-guest party to celebrate the First Communion of nine-year-old Giancarlo on the following day. She is the picture of organized success.

"I truly am blessed," Baccari said. She didn't always feel that way, especially after the second set of twins was born. Baccari confessed to crying a lot back then, asking, "How could this happen to me twice?"

Even when the fifth boy was born, Baccari continued to feel a motherly search inside. When the sixth child and first girl was born, she knew she was done. "She completes me as a mother," Baccari said of her baby.

Baccari's life continued to be prolific in strange ways. A few years ago, her boys insisted on buying a pet hamster. "Four weeks later, 15 baby hamsters were born, and the mother ate half of them," she related. The bewildered mother put the critters into a gift bag, and packed the bag and children into the car to return the hamsters to Petco.

On the way to the pet store, she heard a voice from one of the boys, "Mommy, baby hamster." The animals had chewed their way through the bag and were running all over the vehicle. "I was afraid they would run up my leg while driving," she recalled, adding that the store clerk spent an hour and twenty minutes catching them all.

The April Fool's Day joke that Susan continues to play on her husband, with success, is that she announces she is pregnant. "It works every year," she laughed. Because of the teasing, her husband didn't believe a true incident that happened early one April with another pet. A year after the hamster fiasco, a repeat incident with a rabbit occurred, and it was no joke. She bought the bunny for her children at a fair, insisting that the seller confirm the animal was a male and not pregnant. "Ten days later it gave birth to babies," she said. She had to convince her husband it was not an April Fool's joke. "Anytime we buy anything, it ends up pregnant."

Some friends and relatives see Baccari as a good luck charm. Her cousin-in-law who had been trying to get pregnant came and asked Baccari to rub her arm. "Within a year, she got pregnant," Baccari revealed.

Not surprisingly, Baccari has a collection of Kokopelli images. Kokopelli is a revered fertility deity in the Native American culture. "I gave Kokopelli to a friend who wants a baby. We'll see what happens," Baccari said.

The mother of six praised her children and expressed pride in their congenial attitudes towards one another. Arguments arise now and again, but for the most part, everyone gets along beautifully. "The twins, both sets, are best friends with each other," she noted.

One practice the family has is to enjoy dinner together and share the highs and lows of the day. "We learn a lot about each other," she said.

One night this past winter the family shared another laugh. One of the boys came home earlier that day and flicked off his shoes. The footwear went flying, and one shoe accidentally ricocheted off a piece of furniture and crashed through a window. "It was the only day of the winter that it snowed," Baccari added. "We never know what to expect in this house."

Varrechione was Baccari's childhood sweetheart. They started dating when they were classmates together at Narragansett High School. The couple stayed together through college, despite attending different colleges.

Baccari got the urge to travel after graduation from the Philadelphia School of Textile and Science, now the University of Philadelphia. She went to London for a while and then to South Africa for a few months. "We broke up for about eight months," she remembered. Baccari returned home and married the love of her life.

"It was the happiest day of my life," Baccari admitted. A wedding picture of the couple in tuxedo and white gown, embraced in a kiss, hung on the foyer wall in confirmation of their commitment. Baccari never took her husband's last name, though. After nearly 15 years of marriage and six children, however, it might be time to make the change, she mused with a smile.

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