Monday, December 30, 2013

Mom's Jewelry

Motherhood has to be shameless. It has to be embraced. It has to be that thing in life that you know will keep you humble, but cannot get you down. From giving up on clean clothes and living in yoga pants for the first few weeks (months) of New Baby's life to acknowledging a date with Husband and a baby might turn into a date with Husband and a very naked baby. Sitting in church as a beautiful family can quickly turn into sitting in church covered in spit up on that black dress, and yet- remaining to the end of Mass because... well... that's what you do. Or having a kid that has an accident at the most inopportune time.

Embrace the embarrassment. Embrace the insane.

Today, I have a piece of twine tied around my neck with 12 beads on it of a smattering of colors and shapes. The necklace ain't going anywhere. It's tied tight. LMC made it for me. She also made me a spare in case I lose this one. I wear it with the five strand set of Tiffany pearls Husband gave me. I wear it with the antique turquoise necklace. I wear it under any necklace I would normally wear with whatever outfit I am wearing. I wore it to a benefit several weeks ago and Husband was wearing a tux. It matched my black dress and diamond (CZ) earrings beautifully. The candlelight caught it and really made it pop. LMC beams whenever she notices it or thinks that I might have taken it off. I show it to her proudly and whenever I get comments on it, and I get a lot of comments, I tell whomever that LMC made it for me and I am embracing it.

I learned this lesson without ever knowing I was learning it.

When I was a kid, maybe six? I found the Service Merchandise catalog in the mail. Remember being a kid and waiting until Thanksgiving to get this coveted catalog in the mail and, upon arrival, flipping through all those different colored tabs to find the green tab that meant TOYS!? Brother and I would grab Sharpie's and circle the things we wanted for Christmas. I started this activity with LMC this year. Service Merchandise is long gone, but toy catalogs are not. Only now do I realize that my parents did this with us as an activity so they could get other things done, because Heaven knows that is why I do it.

There were two Service Merchandise catalogs that came out- one in the late fall and one in the late spring. It was the spring catalog that I found of interest; of particular note... the jewelry section. At six, those things that are so incredibly tacky are just breathtaking. In the jewelry section- I saw it. The Mother's Day present to end all Mother's Day presents.

It was shaped like a heart.
It was pink ice.
It had a tiny diamond where the "O" should be...
On the 10k Mom emblazoned over the gem.

This beautiful heart shaped, pink ice ring, with Mom written in gold and a .0001 carat diamond for the "O" would be stunning on my mother's finger. My mother, who wore three diamond rings at the time, none of which could be missed due to lack of size, needed this addition to her daily jewels.


Like yesterday, I needed to have purchased this $68 ring for her yesterday. Now... who could I get in on this secret present that would not spoil my surprise? My grandfather, that's who. I showed Big Dad the picture in the catalog and that I wanted to buy it for my mom, but I only had $55. He spotted me the last $13, drove me to Service Merchandise, walked me up to the jewelry counter and let me handle the transaction as an adult. I paid in cash (the only way to buy jewelry) and took home the best Mother's Day present ever.  How he kept a straight face, to this day-- I have no idea.

Mom opened that present and said over and over how beautiful it was. And then, she put it on her finger and wore it.

And wore it.
And wore it.
And wore it until her pinkie turned green (because that was the finger it fit, not because that is where she wears her jewels). Then she cleaned the green and continued to wear it.

I have no idea how long she wore that beautiful heart shaped, pink ice ring, with Mom written in gold and a .0001 carat diamond for the "O", but she did. Maybe a month, maybe a year-- maybe she was wearing it when I went off to college, I have no idea. But I remember the pride swelling within my kid-sized heart when I saw that ring on her finger. I showed it to all my friends as I am certain she probably showed it to all her friends- but for very different reasons.

To be honest, perfectly honest, I had completely forgotten about the ring until about a year ago when I was rifling through her jewelry box and came across it sitting with all of her other precious jewels. Tucked within the heavy green fabric sat that heart shaped, pink ice ring with Mom written across the top; the diamond where the "O" should be.

That sucker was heinous.

I laughed at myself and at my poor mother before putting it back where it belonged, hidden from the light of day.

Thanks, Mom. Thanks for wearing that ring and making me feel so proud at such an amazing gift. I love you. If you want to pass that pink ice ring on to SIL and those other oversized rings on to me, I would be okay with that. Totally okay.

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