What would you buy a teenager reaching such a milestone birthday? The challenge threw me for days, until inspiration suddenly struck at 3am (thanks menopause): Mum’s ring! Well, it’s my ring actually, which Mum passed on to me many years ago, that I treasure.
My Dad gave it to her on their honeymoon in Mexico, and although it’s a simple design, I love it, loaded with sentiment and meaning as it is now.
The stick figure is roughly carved, and apparently represents the legend of a Girl holding a Rainbow- perfect for me. My son ’17’ often picks it up when I’ve left it lying around on the shelf after washing dishes for example, and has made frequent comments about how well it fits him, and how good it looks on him (as teenagers are wont to do).
But I always refuse to lend it to him, and have remained strict about that, despite his cute cajoling (as teenagers are wont to do). Imagine if he lost it?
Then 3am inspiration arrived: why not get a replica made locally, so that we each have one?
I knew I’d nailed it. What a sublime gift idea, full of symbolism and family connection, yet unique too; ticking all the boxes for a perfect 18th birthday gift.
So I couldn’t help myself: I bragged a little. To my friends, to a few Pilates clients,
to random strangers in the supermarket, to more friends, but swearing everyone to secrecy of course, and leaving no trail of my activities.
Then I made the mistake of boasting to ’17’ himself during Sunday breakfast.
‘I’ve nailed your birthday present. You’re gonna love it. It’s so good.’
He looked at me over his muesli bowl.
‘That’s a big statement Mum. Are you really sure? Should you tell me what it is so I can confirm it’s truly a good idea?’
I back-pedalled slightly, swore myself to secrecy, and changed the subject fast…
Until we met again in the kitchen at 10pm, returning from a fundraising party we’d both been at, smiling at each other occasionally across the dance floor.
‘So I’ve been thinking about my birthday present all day Mum, wondering what it is. Are you buying me a book or something?’
‘Are you taking me on a trip somewhere, like Bali to surf?’
You wish Honey.
‘Are you getting me some cool vintage clothes?’
Oh stop it.
By now he was almost in bed, as I was turning off all the lights and settling the cat; he suddenly stopped talking, and just looked right at me.
For about 5 seconds.
‘You’re getting me a replica of that ring aren’t you?’