Friday, March 1, 2013

Sharing the blanket

My grandmother has knitted blankets for all her 16 great-grandchildren. They are all the same pattern, the same as the one she knit for me and my sisters when we were babies. It is a loose knit with fringe on one end.

Elizabeth has been a blankie girl for a while now. At first, I could easily substitute my yellow and green blanket that's slightly scratchy or Kathleen's creamy, super soft one for her aqua one. Now she knows the particular matted feel and smell of her blankie, and is less accepting. Still, when she's really tired, she will sometimes settle for a different blankie if it has that fringe.

Two days ago, she woke around 1 AM, sopping wet. Her bed was wet, and yes, blankie was wet. Brian stripped her crib, got everything in the wash, and got her back in bed. He tried to cover her with a blanket his mom made. She took it, but she wasn't happy. And it didn't last long. She cried and cried for blankie. Kathleen was tangled in her own blankie. I felt around in the dark for my old blanket. It was right here in the basket, but the kids have been pulling things out. It wasn't in the basket or on the rocker or the chair. She was clamoring for blankie and Kathleen was stirring and I was deliriously tired.

There was one other blankie, same pattern, same fringe. It was lemon chiffon yellow. Until a couple of days before it had been folded on the chair in my room, but while I was sick and stressed and looking for comfort anywhere, I pulled out one night. It was, of course, Henry's. It was the blanket we last held him in. It was the blanket I held every night for a year. Could I share it? What if she peed on it? What if she decided she wanted to have it? What if it would help her sleep? I stumbled across the hall into my room, where the blanket was strewn by the foot of the bed. I spread it over Elizabeth, "Here's your fringe," I soothed.

"My blankie wet. Dada put in wash."

"Mhmm, but you use this. Sleepy time," I whispered putting her hand on the fringe. She fingered it, put her thumb in her month. "Shhh. Sleepy time." I went to bed. She fell asleep under her brother's blanket.


  1. I'm sure it really comforted her. A very special blankie indeed.

  2. Oh Sara. If my heart could possibly break any more, it just did.

    You are an amazing mother to all three of your children. They are very lucky to have you. The image of Elizabeth, surrounded by her brother's blanket, matching to her sister's, knitted by her great-grandmother. Surrounded by her mother's love.

  3. Tears. The love it takes to share. The love. This is a beautiful account of love ... and healing.