Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Worth at Least $5 Apiece

Mothers and sons have an interesting relationship dynamic. In most cases, your mom is the first woman you'll ever love. She'll be the person you run to when you skin your knees or when you get your heart broken. Having a little lad of my own, I can already see how difficult it is going to be when another person takes over the top spot in his world.

(Pausing for a moment to get some tissues...wah!)

Over the years my mother-in-law and I have struck a nice balance with SOB and his affections, though it wasn't always smooth sailing. I can't imagine it ever is. I can predict with almost certainty that I will be the harshest critic of anyone who comes home on Sammy's arm. I'll probably keep my opinions to myself and have a hefty amount of self-loathing because of it, but there is nothing I can do to stop it.

My mother-in-law is an emphatic and gregarious woman who loves her children to a fault. I got the feeling that she liked me, but I wasn't too confident in my ability to read her emotions. However, she gave me a gift once that cemented, in my mind, her feelings for me.

Here's another angle.

In case you couldn't tell, those are my husband's teeth, gold plated. She made me this pin from charms that represented my interests, such as the music note and the cat. Then right in the front she applied his wisdom teeth, extracted shortly after we got together.

Maybe I was mistaken, but I took this gift as a symbolic passing of the torch. When SOB was a young boy, his baby teeth became her keepsakes under the guise of the tooth fairy. Now he was grown, a man in most ways, still a boy in others, but no longer hers. When she drove him home from the dentist that day, all groggy and drowsy from the medications, those teeth filled her pockets in a way his baby teeth never could. And she knew she had to give them to me.

For over a year I wore this pin on the lapel of my coat. I don't wear it very often now, but it is still one of my most cherished possessions. When I do take it out and pin it to my jacket, I smile. Not just because of the funny looks people on the street give me, but because of the way it helped to define a relationship that is very dear to me.

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Rachel said...

Wow! What an interesting and totally unique gift. I love how you look at it. I would not have realized those were teeth. That's definitely something special!

Arizaphale said...

I am at a loss. Unusual for me.

Amy Jo said...

What can I say? She's always surprising me!

Arizaphale said...

Actually, I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings....but I laughed myself silly over this!! Sorry, I know its meaningful and all...but its his TEETH!!!!!!!!!! (damn...I meant to be dicreet....who was I trying to kid?)