I don’t typically wear much jewelery, partially because my body absolutely hates the metals. So when my mom told me she was getting me a special necklace, I was worried with how my neck was going to respond to it. Once I saw it, tears welled up in my eyes. It was a picture of my son standing next to a beaming mother who just graduated. I put it on and wore it proudly for about a week, until the chain broke and I had to find other methods of wearing it. I found another chain and slid it on, only to have it last about another month before that too fell apart. I felt crushed. The wonderful gift from my mother was laying in pieces on my shelf because I was just too rough for the chain.
Recently I tried to find another chain, one that would withstand my constant movement, and also one my skin wouldn’t react terribly to.
Now, this necklace is just any ordinary necklace, and I’m ashamed I didn’t notice this until just recently. This necklace depicted all of my hard work on one circle metal piece. On one side is myself, beaming in a cap and gown. That hard work was my graduation, and all the sacrifices I made finally paying off. But the most important piece of my ongoing work was standing next to me. My son stood proudly next to me, celebrating my achievement.
From his first time crawling, standing, and later walking, I was there. I was beside him every step of the way. When the doctors commented that he isn’t talking when he should be, we sat down with flash cards and spent the time to learn to talk. While in school, his teachers pushed for medication because “he’s just too wild” I was there beside him, trying to teach him how to control his wild spirit. I proudly ran beside him while he pedaled his bike into the field, shakey and nervous, and when he fell, I was beside him to brush the dirt off and tell him to try again. When he started baseball, I was beside him, cheering him on. With every pitch, catch, and swing I was his biggest fan. I have helped shape him into the boy he is today, doing so by being by his side.
The necklace hangs proudly around my neck, with a newfound appreciation for it. My son saw that I was there by his side, and he wanted to return the favor.
Together we are forever standing side by side.