Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Letter Of Thanks To My Youngest Son's Blanket

Dear Blankie,

I'm sorry to wake you- I know you've had a rough few nights, between the whole "Monsters In The Closet" thing and that emergency 3am wash cycle (I blame both the monsters in the closet and the extra glass of lemonade at dinner), but given that it is the season for giving thanks, I just wanted to take a few minutes to let you know how very thankful I am for you.

I know, some may find it strange that I'm expressing my gratitude for an inanimate, ragged bundle of cotton and thread, but it's really no exaggeration to say you are part of the family. After all, for the past several years, anywhere we go, you go, kind of like a fourth child. A very quiet, well-behaved, fourth child with a blessedly small appetite.

And like most children at the bottom of the totem pole, the trickle-down parenting effect has not always been kind to you. I'm embarrassed to admit I don't even know where you came from. And I have no idea how or when you became so important to our youngest son (aka, Little Linus). But alas, here we are, the two of you intertwined in his bed in a tangle of limbs and cotton, and me watching with awe (and maybe just the tiniest bit of jealousy) at the bond you share.

I just want you to know that while I might be a little sketchy on some of the details of your life, and you may feel like you're invisible at times, rest assured that I see you and I am fully aware of the role you play in all of our lives.

After all, you're the first thing he looks for in the morning and the last thing he asks for before bed. You join us for meals (occasionally transforming into a napkin), accompany us on vacations (the ultimate travel pillow), and wiggle your way into family pictures across the globe (can you say photobomb?).

I'll never forget your first day of preschool (nice work hiding in little man's backpack), and how encouraging you were when a certain someone needed one last nuzzle to get him through the door.

Remember that time our guy woke up and declared it to be your 684th birthday? I hope you enjoyed the party, and I have to say, we should all look so good at your age.

And who could forget the Week of the Flu? You experienced such unspeakable horror during that stretch, yet you never failed to show up for duty, working day and night under brutal conditions, pausing only for trips to the wash. And trust me- as a mom, there are few chores more odious than the load of laundry which separates boy from blanket. It's up there with separating toilet from pee stains.

As long as we are speaking of the unspeakable, you've been such a source of comfort at the doctor's office over the years that I really think you might want to consider a career in medicine.

So from every fiber of my being, to every fiber of your...fibers, I offer you my thanks. Because while I'd like to think that there's a little bit of me sewn into you, when you get right down to it, you are everything I strive to be.

You stay soft and pliable even when I am hard.

You offer comfort when I cannot.

You take the night shift- no questions asked, and still wake up ready for the day.

You are best friend and trusted confidante, never judgmental or sharp-tongued.

You dry tears and calm fears.

One minute a cape, the next a parachute, you are endlessly entertaining and literally his soft place to land.

With the threadbare spots where you've been rubbed raw, your holes, and your many bumps and lumps, you remind me that love is never perfect, often messy, and rarely in the package we expect.

Now with kindergarten right around the corner, I know you might be worried about the future and what's to come. I wish I could say that your fears aren't valid, but you and I both know what eventually happens to even the most cherished toys, stuffed animals, and lovies as the kids grow older. Remember Toy Story 3? (How could you forget? I'm pretty sure we've sobbed through it together on the couch...about a dozen times).

But Blankie, you have my word: I am not going to let that happen- there will be no box in the attic or bag at the cub for you. After all you've done for us, after all you've been for us, it's my turn to offer YOU protection and comfort. Consider this my...well, my blanket statement: when that day comes that little man no longer clings to you, I promise to pick up where he leaves off.

I will keep you safe and cherish you, and on tough days (translation: the teenage years), when harsh words begin to fly I will rest my head on you and hear the faint echo of toddler belly laughs.

When attitudes harden I will rub your fluffy fleece and remember that there is a soft spot inside all of us.

And in those stinkiest of times, I will hold you close and inhale that magical, mystical, sweet-smelling scent that is the very essence of childhood.

For all the years you've warmed my child from the outside in and given him the strength and security to grow, I just want you to know that no matter what happens, this time I've got YOU covered.

A grateful mom

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