Once I’d confirmed that I was in fact pregnant with her baby (we didn’t yet know that I was carrying twins), I asked the nurse to keep the results a secret for an extra day. That night I set about making a special gift for her that would announce to her that she was about to become a mother. Still into paper arts at the time, I used decorative paper, rubber stamps, clear plastic disks, and a metal jewelry form to fashion a bracelet for her that had our due date on it. I was proud of my work, of course, and she immediately dissolved into happy tears when I gave it to her. Mission accomplished.
What I didn’t bargain for, however, was a nine-month-long recurring repair job.
To say that she loved the bracelet is an understatement. She loved it so much in fact that she rarely took it off – only to shower, she said. She tried to move it out of the way every time she washed her hands, but more than once it ended up getting soaked, which weakened it. While my craftsmanship was fine enough for a souvenir gift, the bracelet was never meant for day-in, day-out wear. It was more of a decorative memento rather than a sturdy accessory meant to withstand daily use.
I told her this, but she would not be deterred. Despite me giving her my heartfelt permission to take it off from time to time, she refused. It was thoughtful and sweet, and most certainly gratifying to know how much the bracelet meant to her, and only slightly infuriating as well.