My daughter’s piggy bank broke today. The pink ceramic one she got before she was born – a shower gift that matched her bedroom and had a few coins in it to start her savings. It slipped out of her hands and cracked open, innards spilled out, unpainted enamel and copper and silver strewn across the doorway.
Inside my brain is a symbolism sweatshop. There is a buzzing, bustling textile factory that constantly weaves meaning out of random life occurrences. Immediately I started spinning parallels between the piggy and my daughter’s infanthood, both gone, shards for memories. And also I thought of the stark white insides, how unpolished they were, and how we often don’t see the treasures inside one another until we allow our polished facades to crack.
I surely would’ve sat there sinking in bad metaphors if I didn’t have the face of one sad little girl in front of me. She sank into my arms. We talked about how much she liked the piggy bank, how everyone has accidents, how things break sometimes. I reminded her that people are more important than things, and we could get a new piggy bank since it was just a thing. And then she was OK. No tears, no lingering remorse. She went off to play with her dolls and I got out the vacuum.
I thought about how simple that conversation had been. And then I thought about how much harder it is when people break, and how someday she will learn that band-aids don’t actually fix anything and slivers of hearts can’t be swept up and replaced.
Things were getting terribly melancholic and bleak inside my head by that point, so I closed the factory down and picked up a baby doll.
Because really – nobody likes a sweatshop.