Birth, beads and a baby, part one


“Ok, so I let you take pictures of me with your homemade dolls. Isn’t that enough, Woman?”

There are certain family stories you just don’t share. There are other stories which become legendary. This one is a toss-up but for posterity sake, I must pass it along.

“Mom, are you really going to do this to my brother on his b-day???”

It’s my middle OS’s 18th birthday today I’m going to embarrass him/myself and anyone else I can by telling this story. I love Aaron desperately. It’s his first birthday away from home at Moody Bible Institute. BLECH! Truly, Aaron brings immeasurable joy to my life and since his conception, this guy has been making me weirder by the day. Read on for the deets.

While pregnant with my middle OS, I began to love beads. And I mean LOVE. On many Saturday mornings, you’d find me at the flea market pining over ways to make unique jewelry. Actually I never made it myself but some mother/son flea marketeers pieced together my baubles in their simple tented outdoor booth. It was a win-win situation though we were a strange trio to be sure. They lived together in a cramped trailer home in rural North Carolina and didn’t get much exercise, I was a then career-minded, super busy, suburban mama raising a family in a middle class neighborhood near Raleigh.

I believe these three beads represented each trimester…

As my due date approached, I was insistent that beads become a central theme in the delivery, second only to my pending OS. Beads were symbolic of fertility and womanhood. According to my birth plan, everyone with the exception of medical personnel had to wear beads if they wanted to see Aaron enter the world.

The Hubs didn’t/doesn’t have an impressive jewelry stash. If you add marbles, you might say that his bead collection was scant at best. But being the ever dutiful wife, I wanted to resolve his burdensome problem.

I’m not sure what these represented but they represented something!

One afternoon I set off to personally visit the mother/son duo. They had told me they had an even vaster selection of beads at their home and many more masculine beads to choose from. It was now close to my delivery and I was determined. Aaron wasn’t going anywhere until his daddy had a bead necklace to wear for the big day. The miles I logged on that mini-van were astounding. At times I thought about giving up but how could I do that to my incredible husband and precious Aaron still stuck in the womb? I finally arrived and spotted the ramshackle trailer off a dusty, unpaved road. It had taken much longer to get here but Mom and Son were waiting for me.

We all waddled into the showroom. It was similar to a greenhouse only filled with a million or so beads. I noted the selection. Daunting. How could I choose? It had to be perfect and I wanted something to match the overall color scheme and mood of my necklace.  After great thought and with my bead friends’ approval, I found the perfect pieces. For added manliness, I even included a few African bone beads. The Hubs was going to love it. They knotted and strung them all together and even gave me a satin gift bag. We all smiled and waved as I backed up my mini-van leaving a trail of dust in the midst. Mission accomplished…

“Um, thanks Mom?”

Here’s the link to Olive Shoot Institute and the aforementioned dolls. Stay tuned for part two, we’ll call it “the unveiling…”

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