I want to take this opportunity to set the record straight. I was never going to be “that mom.” I would boast (pre-kids) that my kids wouldn’t have anything they would be attached to, like a blankie. Also, I was determined my kids wouldn’t develop any “bad habits” that I would later be forced to break. Nope. Not happening.
Well, here we are two years later, and like almost everything I said before I had kids, we do have something. We are attached to YOU! You entered our world very innocently. We didn’t get you as a gift or as something to be cherished. No, I was the one who placed you in my child’s crib to protect the sheet. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s how you came to be. I could not figure out why my baby loved being in his crib and would run to it anytime anything happened to upset him. THERE WAS NO TURNING BACK when I finally allowed him to bring you out into the real world. You’ve been ruling our house ever since.
I have to admit, you have been a trooper, Blankie. You are endlessly covered in mud, grime, foreign liquids, and food. You name it. You have had it smeared on you. But Lord knows trying to wash you is a military operation that I must execute stealthily. I have even been known to cut the wash cycle short just to rush you back to a frantic child. Like the stalwart companion you are, you continue with your duties without complaint, ready and waiting to be there for the next mission.
I thought a security blanket was only to help soothe a child.
Surprisingly, I’ve found that you soothe the family just as much. When we lose you, the world stops turning until you are back safe in his little hands. I envy you, Blankie. How do you do what you do? How do you know just how to soothe him? I would love to know. It is a physical and emotional transformation that happens when you are near. Everything could be wrong in the world, and as long as you are nearby, he knows he will make it through. I watch him with you and wonder how I might be the thing he cries for one day while simultaneously being grateful it isn’t me.
Though it is a hassle to keep you close by at all times, I feel overwhelmed by a bittersweetness at your presence. I don’t want this phase to pass just as strongly as I can’t wait for it to. Watching my youngest and possibly last child love you, and I get hit with the impending freight train of the future. It is coming, and we cannot stop it.
You will be left behind one day when he goes into Sunday school or a new friend’s house. Instead of making sure you’ve made it safely back into his bag before we leave, we will not even think about you. It’ll be a transition like most things in childhood: it’ll go quickly and quietly. You won’t join us on the couch for family snuggle time or be our ever-present fifth dinner guest every night. You won’t be needed to go off to college, and you certainly won’t make an appearance on his wedding night.
I am not trying to be rude.
You have served us well for the 2+ years, but soon you will leave us and head into retirement. You will pass your days in an overcrowded box containing his hospital wristband, hair from his first haircut, my favorite jammies of his, and his hospital paperwork. It will move from one house’s attic to the next. But maybe one day, you will reemerge to comfort another little boy or girl who looks strikingly familiar to you. This will be a second chance for you to comfort and soothe once again in the way only you know how.