Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Not every keepsake is a keeper!!

My mother keeps everything.

Thank you God I didnt get that trait from her. The only thing I keep is pictures. Anything else I could care less.

Well on my 18th birthday, she tried to hand me a box with my baby teeth, belly button and a piece of my hair. As a young 18 yr old brand new mom, carefully wrapping this stuff in tissue papers, I bet her visions must have been completely different from the way it turned out. She probably thought on my birthday she was going to hand me this keepsake, I was going to Ohh!! and Ahh!!! and we were going to share a moment.

Since I defy normal from the beginning, she handed me the box, not knowing what was inside, I was excited. Oh presents!!!

The next couple seconds were fuzzy, I remember her smile, I remember my smile dropping, dropping the box and just screaming. There was no way to even try to hide it, I was blindsided and hit by shock. What could possibly possess her to save my teeth and give them to me?? That was the absolute last thing I ever wanted in life.

Why couldnt she give me all my baby pictures and family pictures?? No she had to hand me teeth, belly button and a piece of my first hair cut.

What transpired after was a couple of accusations, some more words changing and another dirt pot at the back of the cabinet.

I kept asking for the pictures year after year and she never gave it to me and wasnt going to give me anything else anymore.

Well finally during my 28th Christmas, she kept telling me my present was special, not remembering what the heck I asked for or even if I had wanted anything, I was curious.

She handed me this big box. Inside were a folder full of my school work. While I appreciated it, I could care less to have seen a police car I drew when I was 4. Dont get me wrong, the thought was nice, but I am not that sentimental. I am on some things but not that.
But since it wasn't teeth, hair or gross body parts, I was able to see the gift for what it was, a sweet gesture and I graciously thanked her. I told her it was a very nice thing.

I guess I passed one of her hidden tests, because she hurried it back into the room with a skip in her step and handed me another box. Not expecting anything else I carefully opened. What could this be?? One of my stitches from when I cut my knee at 5 yrs old?? One of the various xrays from when I broke my arm?? Or even worse a piece of my ear that I ripped it out when I was 3?? She was too excited, and instead of her excitement filling me with excitement it filled me with dread.

I stalled, took a couple of seconds, and mentally prepared myself not to scream. I had no desire to act how I did when I was 18 and have another argument or fight. I wanted to enjoy this gift and the rest of our Christmas. Even if it was a piece of my ear. Well okay, if it was a piece of my ear, I could scream and freak out. Anything else, I would suck it up and act graciously.

Thank God it wasnt none of the above. It was my baby book and my pictures, and family pictures from when I was younger. The gift I have been asking for a good 25 years.

You see, there is not a lot of pictures from when I was younger, side effect of having very poor parents and growing up on a 3rd world country. These pictures were very few and rare. I had offered many times to borrow them so I could scan them and keep the copies. She never budged. She held on to them under lock and key.

Finally she gave them to me, and what did I do?? I acted like any mature 28 yr old and freaked out. Why was she handing them to me now when she said I would only get them when she died?? Was she dying?? Did she have a diagnose that she wasnt sharing??

After berating her with questions, and she reassuring me for the last time that no she wasnt dying, that she actually felt fine, and the only reason she was giving them to me, was because she felt it was the right time, and wanted to be able to give it to me, and so forth.

I enjoyed and appreciate it the gift. I looked through every picture and reminisced about my past.

That is to today one of my most prized possessions. I love looking at those pictures, and everything she wrote on my baby book. It brings me back, and I have never felt more loved, reading that baby book, in which my parents wrote in 28 yrs ago. Their fears, dreams and hopes for their baby. I am getting misty eye just writing this.

Anyways, the school papers, I didnt keep. I told her while it was sweet I had no desire to keep, she didnt want them back, and I decided to throw them out. The pictures and baby books I have in a very very special place.

I thought we had come full circle. Oh no!!! When my son and daughter was born, she berated me to keep their belly button, I didn't. I gave it to her and I have no clue if she kept, I also didnt keep their first lock of hair. That to me is creepy with a capital C.

The other day we were talking about how ds is getting older, will be starting to loose his teeth and she mentioned it again that she just cant comprehend why would I not want to save something so special??
We are on such different sides of this issues, its like we live in completely different realms. I am never going to understand her desire to keep it and she is never going to understand my aversion to it.

So I did what any peace keeper would do, I promised her I would give it to her, instead of throwing it in the nearest trash. She actually smiled, graciously accepted and very sweetly said.."One day the kids will thank God they have a sentimental grandmother and they will love receiving this"...

I took a sip of my drink and thought for the millionth time.."I definitely came from an egg "

Love A


sanctimomious said...

Thats interesting that you write that about your Mom and your baby teeth. With Bay and the twins losing a tooth a week between them at the moment, I am struggling with this. I cant seem to throw them out, because they seem special? Weird. But then I cant keep them because I will end up with 156 teeth in a jar and thats just so creepy and gross. *sigh*

Ally said...

Maybe everyone is normal because after I posted this I was looking online and there is so many different types of keepsakes and jewelry made I guess there is a demand for it.
You could only keep 1 from each child. Why keep all them from all kids?? A jar with 6 is less creepy than a jar with 156..lol.
Or maybe you could come up with some display art piece. That will sure get peoples attention. Or even better take all 156 make it into jewelry and give it to the mil. I love that idea better ;)

Our Traveling Circus said...

I wouldn't know what to do if my mom gave me my newborn belly button stump. Eeek!!
I did keep hair from T's first haircut and the outfit he came home in, but the stump had to go.

Katrina said...

Okay, I'm totally the opposite. I'm a sentimental freak. Although I did not save the umbilical stump from my babies' belly's, I do save all their baby teeth. Gross or not, I just could never throw away something that, when they first popped through their gums, brought me such joy. I know, it's crazy. I even save their clothing (the special ones, even the everyday things they wear that "reminds" me of them.) I cannot throw away ANY piece of art or drawing or little note they've written to me. I have boxes and boxes of things that I've saved. My oldest is 20 and my youngest is almost 3 -- and there are seven kids in between them! Yep, that's NINE. Can you imagine how many sets of baby teeth I'm going to end up with? LOL How many letters, keepsakes, worked of art?

I'm a new follower of your blog :)

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