This is the story of my eldest daughter and a blanket that she’s had forever.
It’s an old Indigo blanket. The kind that’s rolled up in a fleecy log near the checkout and you, like fifty thousand other germy consumers, absent-mindedly run your fingers along it and think to yourself, “This is nice.” It’s the kind of purchase that makes sense in a compulsive way, when you don’t know anything about it other than it feels soft when rolled up like a burrito in the impulse-buy line.
My dear spirited 8-year-old insists that it’s not. She loves it to death. She sleeps with it every night. It’s the closest thing she’s got to a security blanket. She carries it around, brings it downstairs for breakfast, leaves it on the floor when she’s playing, builds forts with it. She claims it’s the best blanket ever.
It’s not. She’s as wrong as a person can be. It doesn’t breathe, so she sweats into it. It soaks up sweat and odours and holds them forever because it’s so fibrous. It’s kind of slippery in that synthetic sort of way so it never stays put, not that it matters because she kicks it off every night anyway because it also somehow retains a physics-defying 100% of her body heat and reduces her to a puddle of gross.
So you might imagine (correctly, I might add) that I have come to kind of hate this stupid blanket.
You might also imagine, also correctly, that I was quietly thrilled when I noticed that it’s begun to literally disintegrate. I thought I might be able to finally put it away and we could all move on from this long, dark chapter in our lives.
No such luck. She was dismayed when we uncovered the holes, which are too big to simply sew up. And being a spirited child, she made sure that I knew about it.
I wanted to sit her down and say “Sweetie, I hate this stupid blanket. And I think you do too. You act like you do when you’re wrapped up in it, but the problem is you’re unconscious when you hate it, so you don’t remember when you wake up. Now what do you say we ritualistically burn this thing and cleanse our lives of it with fire?”
But I did not. I hate that stupid blanket, but I’m not a monster. I have feelings. I just watched Inside Out, so I imagine I’ll continue to have an abundance of feelings for a few days. So rather than put my foot down (again, we just watched Inside Out, so I’m reminded of how well that often goes) we turned it into a bit of a project.
So me, 8, and our littlest, 6, sat down with needles and thread and started patching that stupid blanket while their mama made a delicious dinner. We reviewed a couple of different sewing stitches and 8 sat on my lap for a while to put one of the patches on. She sniffled and snuffled for a while because she has a cold and allergies going and by the way did I mention that the stupid blanket also collects dust and dander like the world’s most hyperactive Swiffer duster?
So first in shifts and then together, needles going silently in unison, we patched and repaired the stupid blanket, which I hate, speaking softly about nothing much at all, handing each other scissors and thread as needed, and the blanket slowly became whole again.
There are a couple of more spots to go as I write this post. It’ll be done by the time I click “Publish.” In a few minutes I’ll go upstairs and wrap up my beloved eldest child in this malicious Petrie dish of a piece of bedclothes. Not because I want to, but because I love her, and because even though I’ll still cringe when I see this stupid blanket, I’ll also see those blue patches and remember our efforts to save it.
Dear stupid blanket: I still kind of hate you. But thanks for the good times.