I had an email in response to an article I wrote about the keeping of special items from previous generations. The article was in reference to the idea of keeping the first baby bracelet or first children's earrings as a keepsake, to return to her when she's an adult, possibly on the occasion of the birth of her first daughter. Or perhaps her 21st.
A young woman, she had just had her first baby, a girl, and her mother visited her that first day in hospital with a beautifully wrapped box. What was inside, was "to thrill her beyond already being thrilled to bits" as she described it to me.
Her mother had secretly stored her daughter's first baby bracelet, her baby brooch and her first children's earrings, and had never mentioned them to her in all her growing up years. What she saw in that box was a bracelet as beautiful now as it must have been 26 years previously when she received it from her mother on the occasion of her birth. It was a little 9ct gold ID bracelet with locket. When her mother told her the story behind the jewellery, she said she had no recollection of the bracelet, in her own memory. The brooch, a gift from her godmother, was worn on her matinee jackets which were popular baby attire back then. She had seen photos of herself as a baby, wearing the brooch but never knew what had happened to it. Seeing those first earrings again, refreshed her memory of them. They were tiny, silver butterflies.
This young woman was blown away by this gesture of love, on the part of her mother. She said it made the birth of her own baby all the more special and she vowed to keep her baby jewellery safe and pass it back to her own daughter when she grew up.