My mother always said, “the good thing about children is that they eventually grow up. The bad thing is, they grow up.” I couldn’t wait to be a grown-up. I knew it meant I’d get to have a jewelry box just like Mom’s, with its flip-up latch and hinged shelves full of 1960s trinkets and our hospital bracelets. The red velour lining smelled of her perfume- if I close my eyes, I can still see it.
I keep my babies’ hospital bracelets in a jewelry box, too. They’re delicate and priceless to me, and as irreplaceable as the tiny baby feet I could once hold in my hand but are now borrowing my favorite boots. My children grew up, just like Mom warned me they would.
They’re not in my arms every day anymore, but they are never for a moment out of my heart. The tiny baby feet are now a sparkling accent on a sturdy charm bracelet that is as strong and beautiful as my girls. Their innocent faces smile back at me from the photo that will keep them my little ones forever. I should probably get an extra one, since no matter how big they get, children just don’t like to share. One day, many Mother’s Days from now, their daughters will be rummaging through my jewelry box and know that Grandma is always with them.