Blankie is a soft red chenille with a cheery yellow embroidered sun, giraffe, and palm tree and a blue rick rack border. The perfect blanket for such a sunny boy.
When Holden catches a glimpse of his blanket, a smile lights up his face, he exhales a breathy "Blankie!," and dives face first into his Blankie with no thought for personal safety. There have been many bumped and bruised foreheads in the name of Blankie love.
He forgets about Blankie for long stretches of time during the day, but if I put him in his crib with no blanket, he looks around and then up at me, quizzically. "Blankie?"
In the mornings, Holden drags Blankie with him as I lift him from his crib, warm and snugly. We sit in the corner of the couch and Holden folds back into my lap, his neck in the crook between my shoulder and arm, his head on my chest, his damp diapered tush on my leg. Blankie wraps around us both. Holden looks up at me and smiles his sleepy, enigmatic smile. We bask in mutual adoration.
They really know how to make us love them, these children of ours.
I remember my own childhood blanket.
When I was 3 or 4, I think, my parents were out for the evening and I had a babysitter. I don't remember if my brother, B, had been born yet, so I'm unsure about my age as well. There was an accident, my parents were called, I was frantically driven to the emergency room.
My parents wrapped me in a soft cotton baby blanket, white with large pink and blue flowers. I remember being carried through the dark in the blanket. I remember bright lights and a very white, blinding room. I remember clutching the blanket to me and refusing to let go. I don't remember much else. But I do remember the blanket.
That blanket became my talisman, my sleeping aid. My memory of being cocooned and comforted.
When I reached adolescence, I folded the blanket up and put it in a drawer, but it was still nearby. When I left home, I packed my blanket into a box, where it remained, and carted it from home to dorm, dorm to apartment, apartment to home.
Now, the blanket resides in a box in the attic of our house. Sometimes I will picture my blanket up there, creased from years of folding, the fabric soft and threadbare from hundreds of washings, pink and blue flowers strangely their original hue, the blood stains still faintly visible, reminding me of its history.
At 18 months, Holden's Blankie is still its original cherry red, unmarred by stains, unfrayed by time. I know that his attachment to Blankie is appropriate for his age and quite common. I also know that he may not need Blankie much longer. He may forget about it in a few years or only a few months.
But when he does, I will fold his Blankie and put it in a drawer. And when Holden leaves his childhood home, I will pack Blankie in a box and send it with him as a reminder of home and of me.
I hope that Holden will carry Blankie with him always.
This post is part of Julie's fabulous Hump Day Hmmm Roundtable. Our topic for this week was "The things you carry with you." (I was at a loss for a title for my post, so I shamelessly stole it.)
If you haven't already, please also check out the Just Posts for June. The list of Just Posts seems to get longer every month and that is fabulous! And I'm not just saying that because some kind soul nominated me for one this month.