In any event, the result in the short term is that she came home in a cardboard box. No; not a bag-lady-brown-corrugated-Amana box. It's actually a pretty nice little white box. It has -- wait for it -- a Certificate of Authenticity on the top of it. "Oh look, honey. She's bona-fide!"
It weighs exactly 4 lbs, 7 oz.
I was at once surprised both by how heavy and how light it was. K was a big kid -- just about 100 pounds and just under 5 feet tall. She was, to be honest, too big for my lap anymore, for all that she spent a lot of time there anyway. All that kid reduced to 4 lbs, 7 oz. An entire lifetime of memories in a white cardboard box with a Certificate of Authenticity on the top. Don't ask me why, but this morning I put the box in front of my stereo and played Alice's Restaurant. She loved that song, and there was something about the Certificate that made me think of "twenty-seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with the circles and the arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one." I put the song on and I sang along to the singing parts of it while I cleaned up the family room.
And then I put her under the Memory Tree.
4 lbs, 7 oz. Almost inconceivable.