Thursday, August 29, 2013

Jackson’s blanket

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I devoted most of my morning yesterday to needle and thread and five new holes that recently appeared in Jackson’s blanket. As young and inexperienced parents it’s hard to predict how your choices will shape your children’s lives. What seems like a minor decision or a spur of the moment I’ll-do-anything at 2:00 AM can alter who they are, their dependencies and their attachments. I never thought twice about letting Jackson suck his thumb instead of a pacifier. Not once did it occur to my sleep deprived brain that a pacifier could be taken away at a later age, whereas a thumb would be a much more difficult habit to break.

Along with the thumb was this odd little blanket, which was handmade with a piece of material and bias tape sewn around the edge. I wish I could remember who gave it to me. I would bake her a huge batch of cookies and send her one of the dozens of photos I have of Jackson and his blanket from over the years. The attachment started one night when I realized the blanket was just big enough to cover Jackson in his crib without leaving mounds of excess material for him to get tangled in. We gave it to him every night for several weeks and all of the sudden he couldn’t sleep without it.

I admit there have been a few times when we have tried to break his addiction to the blanket, which we all refer to as “Binkie” (I have no idea how that got started, so don’t ask). Mostly because the blanket snuggling goes hand-in-hand with the thumb sucking, a habit we’ve been battling for years. Jackson is seven years old and most days he is more boy than baby. The few times I see him enter the quiet place in between are the times he holds his blanket, gathers it up with his hands and nestles it against his cheek.

And suddenly I realize I will gladly spend all morning stitching holes.

I’ll pick it up off the floor ten times a day.

I’ll turn around and go back to the lake when it gets left behind.

And I’ll treasure all the moments that are left. 

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Love that blanket for as long as you can.

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