umbilical

In college, you have to play these stupid get to know you games.

This one is called two truths and a lie. I prefer never have I ever, but thats a different story. Out of the three facts below, pick which one is the lie:

  1. I have touched Taylor Swifts hand.
  2.  I have been skydiving.
  3. Even though I was born in South Dakota, my parents buried my umbilical cord under the Century Tree.

So okay, I have never been skydiving and really have no desire to go, but people always find my third fact the most unbelievable. For those of you who are not Aggies, the Century Tree is a live oak tree on the A&M campus whose branches go over a path and down on the other side, kinda like a weeping willow. Aggie tradition says that if you walk under the Century Tree with your lover, you will be together forever. Now the tradition has also been adapted to say if you walk under the Century tree alone, you will be alone forever. Either way, we give the Century Tree a lot of power to make or break the path of our lives.

Can you imagine my parents freezing my umbilical cord, taking it to A&M, and burying it under the sacred Century Tree?  When I tell this story, many people are disgusted and confused. They always have a ton of questions, which I ask my mom.

They ask, “Your parents just dug a hole under the Century Tree and no one stopped them?”

No one stopped them.

“Was it under the cover of darkness?”

Nope.

“How did they get it all the way from South Dakota to College Station?”

Umbilical cords can be frozen, dummy.

“Why didn’t they keep your umbilical cord in case you needed stem cells for something?”

This is a question I have often wondered myself. My mom has no answer, except that “it wasn’t a thing 20 years ago.” But I guess burying it under a tree was?

“Is your brother’s buried there too?”

Yes, along with my cousin David.

And most of all, “Why would she do that??”

I have no answer for that. I’ve asked my mom this a lot and she doesn’t really have a good answer. She just talks around the question and said her and my aunt Michelle did it together. So I went searching for answers myself. It turns out that burying your child’s umbilical cord is a Hispanic tradition. You are suppose to bury it at your home so that your child will grow roots there.

Not only did I grow roots at A&M, but my umbilical cord served as nutrients for one of the most precious places in College Station. I know that’s weird to say, but it’s true. I always knew I wanted to go to college at A&M and I only applied there. I feel so at home here. I’ve never questioned if this was the right place for me because I’ve always known in my heart that it was.

My roots are so deep here. They run through the entire campus from my south side dorms to the biochemistry building on west campus to my SI office right in the heart of main campus. Some people say we don’t have the prettiest campus, but when I walk passed Kyle Field, passed the academic plaza, passed the admissions building, I’m in awe of its beauty. Last year I wrote a post about how the sky seems bluer here, and I still think that way.

I’ve always known that I’ve viewed A&M with rose-colored glasses. Now I know that it’s because my roots are here. The Hispanic tradition held true for my brother, my cousin David, and I. We all have so much love for this university.

I know the Century Tree’s powers are true. When I find my husband, you bet we will be walking under the Century Tree. When I have my kids, you bet I’ll bury some of their umbilical cords under the Century Tree. Not all of it because I’m too science-y not to save some in case my kids need stem cells, but I’m also too superstitious to not bury part of it.

I’m going to be that crazy lady digging a hole under the Century Tree under the cover of darkness, hoping my kids will get to experience the love I have for Texas A&M.

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