“There Is No Charm Equal to Tenderness of Heart”

no charm equal


About a year ago, I decided that I would like a charm bracelet. I love clunky bracelets and sparkly things in general, plus I love the idea of collecting objects over time that tell a story about what’s important to me.

G enjoys knowing what to get me….Victoria’s getting into it too…and Aunt Fancy works in a jewelry store…so this was a big Christmas for charms. My bracelet is full and my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and Pandora circulars will follow me all the days of my life.

At the Cool Kids Christmas, Libby surprised me with an owl, for wisdom. On Christmas Eve, Big Gay gave me a red and green Murano glass bead, for the 32 Big Gay Christmases that we’ve spent together. Brett (that’s Aunt Fancy to the kids) added a crystal Christmas tree with NOEL on the back. She had already given me two purple jewels at Thanksgiving. This morning, G added the “Galaxy” charm that he heard me telling Vivi about a few months ago. He also picked out a red Murano glass bead but he couldn’t remember why. I looked it up in the catalog and its name is “Red Effervessence.” When I read out the name, he beamed and said, “That’s IT! The bubbles reminded me of champagne and I remembered that you didn’t have a red one for Wesleyan colors.” I gawped at him and he smirked, “See? I listen.”

After all the craziness had subsided this morning, I got out my bracelet and sat down with Victoria to figure out how to work in the new additions. She does hers chronologically. I like to alternate color and silver, but the charm that goes in the middle has to be specially selected to remind me of what’s central in my life. We laid them all out on a plate that G had painted with the kids.

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“I’ve been wearing the love heart in the middle since my birthday.” It’s a little heart-shaped box that opens up to reveal a sparkly little diamond. I slid that charm to the center of the plate as Victoria nodded. “But what shoud go around it?”

“Oh! I know!” She took her finger and tapped out a message on the charms. “Put the love one in the middle….then the family one here…..and the galaxy on the other side….and it says, “Family Love is Everything.”

And that’s what we ended up doing.


Later that afternoon, after we dined on cheeses and nitrates, honeyed nuts and stuffed olives, vinho verde and yule log, my mom got ready to leave. The kids said their thank yous and gave hugs and we all agreed that this laid back Christmas Day works great for us. Mom left.

Three minutes later, she walked back in the door with a jar of jelly that my aunt had sent but Mom had forgotten to bring in earlier. As soon as she stepped into the kitchen, Carlos looked up from the den and squealed, “Gwamma!!!” He came a’runnin’ and threw himself at her as if they hadn’t seen each other in months and she had finally returned.

We got such a laugh out of his pure delight, his effervessence. I said, “Dude, you just wrote my blog post for me, acting like that!” Victoria stopped sorting the clean forks into the silverware drawer and said, “Hey, you could talk about that thing with the bracelet, too.”

And that’s what I ended up doing. That kid has a knack for spelling things out.

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