Friday, March 18, 2005

Pearls beyond price.

When Zappa was in kindergarten, he gave me a pair of earrings for Christmas. He picked them out himself, and he chose 'the most beautifullest earrings in the whole store' for me.

Every morning, I put them on and wore them to school. Both of my children came to school with me (from K-8!) so I wore the earrings until they went down to their classrooms at 7:50 each morning.

As soon as the coast was clear, I took off Zappa's earrings and replaced them with another pair that I kept in my desk. He never knew. He still doesn't know.

As soon as my own students left, I hurriedly put Zappa's earrings on again. As far as he knew, I'd been wearing them all day. In my heart, I had.

He used to brag about how those beautiful earrings Momy always wore had been chosen by him and him alone, and purchased with his saved-up allowance. (He got fifty cents a week once he started school. A man has needs.)

I was young, and insecure, and my job was fairly new. I wanted to make a good impression.
Otherwise, I would have worn those earrings all day, and either held my head high and said nothing, or explained why they were so precious to me. Some of the other teachers would have understood. Some would not have. I was young, and insecure.

When he was in the fourth grade, he bought me another pair of earrings down at the school's 'Santa's Workshop' store. He wanted me to wear them, as well as the first pair. I agreed. They were a little less 'elegant' than the original pair, and I was able to wear them in public.

No pirate chest or Tiffany's window ever held such precious jewels.

When I cleaned out my desk last summer, that first pair of earrings was still in my pencil tray.

I do not remember the last time I wore them. I do not remember the last time I took them off and put them in the tray. I do not remember being asked where they were. I do not remember feeling different because I was now putting on 'normal' earrings in the mornings. I do not remember if he asked about them at all.

For four and a half years, I wore these earrings every morning and every evening. Purty, huh.

They are pearls beyond price. Close to three inches of pearls.

When he was in the 8th grade, I showed him the earrings in my desk drawer. He looked stunned, and said, "Mom, you've got to be kidding!"

I wasn't kidding. And when I told him how beautiful they were to me, and always would be, he looked incredulous. And then he grinned and said "Mom, you are so WEIRD."

Well, there's that.

If I had it all to do over again, I'd wear the dangly pearls the whole day.

When you get old, you get braver. And less concerned with what "people" think.

In some respects.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:00 AM | |


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