As it’s Halloween tomorrow, it seems as appropriate a time as any to discuss the body parts we have hidden around our house.
I saw my best friend this weekend and we compared our collections. Her son has teeth, scabs, and a black fingernail in his stash. My daughter has lovingly kept her own black fingernail in a little box that she trots out on special occasions. Last week, my son got four permanent teeth removed in preparation for braces and was sent home with a plastic tooth-shaped box crammed full with the teeth, giant bloody roots and all. And somewhere in our house is the treasure above all treasures, the jewel in the crown, the pièce de résistance…
When my oldest son was a newborn, we anxiously waited for his umbilical cord to fall off. We gingerly swabbed at it for weeks with rubbing alcohol. We fretted that he’d go off to college with the stump still dangling from his belly. I was delirious with joy the day it finally came off. As a joke, I hid it in a velvet jewelry box and wrapped it up as a gift for my husband. I felt really guilty when he looked genuinely touched as he opened the box, but because I’m kind of a jerk, I felt totally gratified when he gasped in horror when he opened the lid to reveal the gnarly, wizened, black stump. Having had my fun, I put it away and completely forgot about it for years. One day, I was cleaning out a drawer and found the box. Out of idle curiosity, I opened it and almost peed myself when I saw the shriveled, monkey-paw-like stump inside.
(No pictures today, because that would be in poor taste, obviously).