My grandmother had a teething necklace that she'd worn as a baby--the kind of thing that would be a choking hazard today, for sure--that she kept carefully tucked away in her jewelry box. In the middle of the copper-colored disc, in addition to the tiny teeth marks, there was a small engraved "M". Since my name started with an "M", too, she'd promised it to me from the time I was very young.
When she moved to an assisted living facility several years ago, she finally told me to take it home. I wear it every once in awhile, but it's much less exciting to pull it out of my own jewelry box.
That same grandmother sent me this music box. I had a small collection of music boxes for awhile when I was a little girl, but somehow this is the only one that's survived. We played it a lot when the Kid was little to help him drift off to sleep.
Now it mostly sits on my dresser, but every once in awhile the Kid will ask to take it down and play with it. We have very few things that he has to be careful with, but he generally remembers that this is one. He carefully winds the key, and then watches with big eyes as the clown and dog spin.
"Someday, this will be yours," I tell him, "But for right now it still belongs to mommy."
"But when can I have it?" he asks impatiently, just like I once did with another family heirloom.
"Maybe someday when you're a daddy yourself."
He laughs as if I'm telling him a funny joke, and goes off to play with his trucks.
I laugh--a little less hard--at the idea of him every being that grown up, too, and then I carefully put the music box on top of my dresser to keep safe for him until then.