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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Planting Charlie's Roots

More than ten years ago, I read a Barbra Kingsolver novel in which the family practiced the tradition of burying the umbilical cord stumps of their newborn babies under a newly planted tree. For some reason, that resonated deeply within me, and I have remembered it ever since. For years, I have had this idea tucked away in the back of my mind as something I would like to do with my children.

I don't know, (and can't find) what the real tradition is, or from which culture it originates, but to me, this is symbolic of us planting Charlie's roots. Especially given the details of the way our son came to us, I feel this is one way we can honor his beginnings. To me it simply didn't feel right to throw away his umbilical cord stump - his final connection to the woman who gave him life. Instead, we planted his "roots" under the new rose bush he gave me this year for my first Mother's Day.

I know that Charlie's life will take him all sorts of places, and indeed I hope our son will grow far from here throughout his lifetime. Our wish is not to hold him here, but rather to help him become the kind of man that knows he has roots deep in the love of home, so that he never forgets where he came from, and so he knows there is always a place to which he can return.




13 comments:

alicia said...

what a great idea!! it is soo beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. Good pictures. I love Charlie's cuteness.

Anne

Mrs H said...

I've heard of traditionally bury the placenta but not the stump. Maybe it evolved to the stump with people quit giving birth at home.

Great sentiment about the connection to his birthmother.

Evergreen said...

I know is Bali, the cord and the placenta are the "spiritual brothers" (or sisters depending on gender), and are planted on either side of the parents door. It calls the child home.

I love that you planted the cord - like Mrs H I know many who have planted placentas, but the cord is appropriate in our situations. And beautiful about it honoring his birth mother.

Karen said...

Such a great idea!

PopTart said...

What a wonderful idea! I have enjoyed reading your blogs, I just get chill bumps! :)

stillthinkingagain said...

Love this post... made me teary. And Charlie is so precious, it makes me ache.
This is a beautiful idea, Melba.
love,
S

Anonymous said...

Hi I just wanted to say that You and you husband are WONDERFUL parents and I hope you a lifetime of happiness with Charlie!

Becky said...

How very neat.......and your sentiments are so sweetly written!! Great pictures of this special event!

Debbie B said...

Love the pic of you watering the plant while holding Charlie.

I never heard of that. Interesting and beautiful. That rose bush will be special for so many reasons now.

Leah W said...

that is a neat idea!

Rebekah said...

Melba you are so beautiful inside and out. What a VERY cool idea! Somehow I missed this post and yesterday when I was talking with Rebekah on the phone she said, "Did you see what Melba did with the umbilical stump?" She thought it was so precious, I had to come back and find the story!

Malloryn said...

I just love this idea, Melba! It is so much more symbolic than tossing the umblical stump away. Beautiful :)