It All Started With a 25 Year Old Rotting Umbilical Cord

so, my mom loves me and my sisters a lot. i mean a LOT lot. like mrs. bates a lot.

i have proof. well, i think in the forensic sciences they would more call it ‘physical evidence.’

it all started a few months back while she and my sister were going through old boxes in preparation for my parents downsizing to a condo.

they came upon my sister’s baby box- out of which my sister pulled what she THOUGHT was a barrette. it was not.

it was a surgical clip. attached to the remnant stump of her umbilical cord.



there was also bits of first haircut hair and what might have been first lost tooth (!) and old school papers and art projects and stuff in the same box.

with the umbilical cord.

well, obviously, we threw it away and then unmercifully teased my mom about this and made all kind of ‘cut the cord already’ jokes to my sister.

but then.

mom found mine. a 33 year old piece of rotting tissue in a similar box in a similar closet. gags and orders to vanquish were repeated.

we thought this was over. we thought, surely there can’t be any more parts to be found??

and then today, i got the following text:

“found your wisdom teeth. want ’em?”

i was 18, i think, when i had them removed. i’m 33 now. so that makes these nasty things carry-the-2, add 9….really super old and disgusting.

we bantered back and forth a bit and i told her i was going public with her shame because it was TOO too good not to share. and then i made some crack about her stringing them on a cord and wearing them like a necklace. but i immediately texted her back because i felt i needed to follow up to tell her i was just kidding and she really ought not do that. it seems like that could have got unsaid, but she’s the crazy lady with all the teeth and tissue hanging about, so, you know…

i love her a lot. and i kind of sort of get the desire to hang on. and the feeling that your kid is just so precious that you want to cling to every piece of them. i get that.

i gave henry so many kisses tonight at bedtime that he had to put his stern face on to tell me to stop.

i haven’t kept any of his scraps, but i’ve kept pretty much all of his really quite bad works of ‘art’ that come home from school by the fists-full.

so all that is to say that i think i understand my mom more now that i’m a mom. i always really liked her, but now i especially do.

but make no mistake about it, i will never open another box in my parents home ever again.

after all, the placentas still are unaccounted for.

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