I nearly dropped my coffee mug during breakfast after reading an article in the daily paper. Good thing I held tight. Since Bongo’s recent passing, spilled wine has become a problem. I yell, “Wine alert, under the table,” but the Big Guy doesn’t rush to my side to lap it up the way Bongo did. I miss that dog. There may be no use crying over spilled milk but lost wine calls for an Irish keening.
The article featured a local artist, and mother, who discovered breast milk could be sanitized, preserved and compacted into handcrafted jewelry. Women are pumping pints and shipping them to her so she can create her magic. (She wouldn’t disclose processing secrets but something tells me the Pasteur Foundation hasn’t given its seal of approval.) Mompreneur then sends the women charms formed from their own breast milk. Try finding that at Jared’s.
It’s amazing where entrepreneurs find inspiration. This woman might have been nursing her baby late into the night, watching infomercials, when, Sham Wow, she thought: “I’ll hand-craft keepsakes from breast milk.” Naturally, turning breast milk into jewelry is the first thing that pops into anyone’s mind. Well, maybe bronzed book ends but try explaining that curio the next time your pastor visits.
She might be riding the next wave in sentimental tokens. Necklaces have long been fashioned into micro-urns carrying loved ones’ ashes. Scrapbooks are filled with baby teeth and hair. What mother wouldn’t love a remembrance of those loving, bonding moments with her baby? She’d especially appreciate having the memento when her child is a teen. That’s when bonding seems more like bondage – to both mother and teen.
The artist claims to even have made jewelry from milk that had been frozen since 1995. I can’t imagine why anyone would store breast milk in a freezer for 20 years. Or anything else, except for maybe JELL-O Pudding Pops. Those in the know saw the end of the road for that sweet treat. For Pudding Pops, too.
Now that I think about it, I have in the back of my freezer mother’s milk from Pinot and Grigio’s infancy. Not mine, of course. The Mothers Against Bottles club held a pump-a-thon for me. There was a contamination issue, something about my milk registering high levels of alcohol. Oh, the fuss! You’d think I was lactating lead. Gotta say, those ladies were generous. That milk will be around when I have grandchildren. Too bad the same can’t be said for Pudding Pops. Or Bill Cosby.
The artist said she’s expanding her jewelry business and including body parts like umbilical cords and placenta pieces. This could be a marketing gold mine, especially among baby boomers wishing to leave behind more than memories. Sharing a piece of family history – literally – could even be educational. Instead of flipping through a photo album at family gatherings, relatives could pass around a jar containing the charred lung of three-pack-a-day Aunt Lucy. You can’t get that anti-smoking message from a billboard.
Just think, sharing harvested body parts could revolutionize classroom show-and-tell. It’s one thing for a kindergartner to describe his grandfather’s sand-trap shot but waving a piece of gramp’s first knee injured in a golf outing has the makings of a schoolyard legend. Tough luck for the kid following that act. Convincing classmates to hold granddad’s war medals he earned in a foxhole when they’ve just held a 70-year-old knee blown out in a bunker is a hard sell.
What a relief to know I can knock two items off my to-do list this year. I can clean out my freezer and give Pinot and Grigio the perfect wedding anniversary presents. I can’t wait to see the looks on their wives’ faces!