When I was a wee lass, all blonde and curly and smiley, rumor has it that I wandered around all the time with an object I only faintly remember, fondly known as my lovey, but more recognizable as an old diaper. This was in the days when disposables were new and expensive and tended to chafe a baby's bottom quite badly, so those of us who were born during this predisposable time lived in a world of cloth diapers, diaper pins, and rubber pants. (the phrase rubber pants is going to get me some weirdo hits, watch.) Diaper pins are a thing of the past, and cloth diapers, while still available, have been renamed Burping cloths for the use of the disposable diaper generation. And believe me, they're way too expensive now to use a few times then turn into dusting cloths which, all cloth diapers became when baby was potty trained.
I don't remember carrying my lovey, but I do remember once it was gone, returning to the hall closet where it lived for a little while as a dust cloth to rub my cheek against it. I also don't remember why I got in trouble once and had to wear it, but I'm pretty sure that my step dad was trying to make a point that I was acting like a baby at the tender age of six. And if I was going to act like a baby, I should wear a diaper for a bit. There's not a whole lot more to that memory, I had forgotten it was in there until just now. Come to think of it,I think my lovee disappeared altogether after that. But I do believe that I will always be fond of the smell of freshly bleached cotton and enjoy the feeling of it next to my skin, and what do you know, thanks to this post, I understand why!
But really, my lovey is not what this post is all about. I also remember a blanket that I aquired when I was about 4. At least that's when I was told I got it. I really don't remember a time before I had it. I do remember that it smelled good. That it was a quilt. That I liked to look at all the crazy patterns on it when I couldn't sleep at night and I would stay up playing on my bed. Was? I mean is. I stopped sleeping with it a few years ago, along with the little pillow my mom snuggled when she was pregnant with me because she wanted to hold me so badly. My quilt and pillow are packed away now, along with all my other blankets.
I don't know how this item has lasted through the years. I remember the day my step dad sold my Benji sleeping bag at a garage sale because he insisted that it was my security blanket and had to go. I didn't know then what a security blanket was, but I knew my sleeping bag kept me warm. Somehow, the quilt and pillow stayed with me, escaping his scrutiny.
As I have grown, (I retain a great fondness for quilts) I have come to understand that not only do most people have a favored blanket from thier younger years, but that many of them still have it. be it quilted or crochet, it has remained through the years as a reminder of the child that was and the comforts given. The other day, as I presented my boss with a quilt I created to be given to his new granddaughter. He smiled and told me about the quilt that he's had since he was a young man that he still wraps up in when he's feeling sick. I started remembering all my friends who have told me over the years that they still have that special blanket. I watch the young children in my life as they drag theirs around. I am proud to have made some of them for them. I realized that when I give a child a blanket, it's not only something to keep them warm and snuggly when they are young, it's a lifetime of hugs they might just treasure forever.
I realized that rather than be ashamed of my blanket, and believe me there have been many times when I have hidden it away so that a new boyfriend wouldn't see, I should take it out and treasure it like the old friend that it is. It may be tattered and torn, and way too tired for a bed mate, but it certainly isn't something I should be ashamed of. It certainly deserves better than to be stuck in an old bag in my closet. it should be out, visible, caressable, smellable, loveable. Treasure that it is. My blanket. Not for security, it never was, but for memories of the child that I was and the woman I have become.