When Guy was about 3 months old, I knitted him this baby blanket. That was a beautiful time in my life. I was a new mother, experiencing the bliss of holding and loving a child that I had created inside of myself. Every new development was such a joy to watch. That winter was so peaceful as I held my young son and watched the snow falling softly outside of our apartment window. I often relate to Guy that I knitted this blanket for him while he lay on my lap. He'd reach out and get his fingers tangled in the yard, curious to touch the soft blue thread, but unable yet to control the movement of his hands. I would laugh and untangle them and continue to knit while he drifted off to sleep.
I took this picture of Guy wrapped up in his blanket as soon as I finished it. I'll always remember that the first thing he did when I gave it to him was spit up on it. I thought, well that figures! I quickly cleaned the spot and wrapped my sweet baby up in his new blankie. Since that day, Guy and blankie have been practically inseparable. What a team!
I was so pleased that he loved the blanket that I made for him. It was rather difficult for me to make, because I'd never really knitted anything before. I can remember being frustrated when I realized that I had missed a stitch. I thought I had made such great progress that day, only to realize that I would have to undo rows and rows to fix my mistake and re-knit the blanket. So, to watch him latch on to this special gift brought me great satisfaction.
Over time, Blankie became a steady companion, a comforter, and then a friend. I will always remember when we took our first family road trip. We were caught in a thunderstorm on the drive home. Guy had never really experienced a thunderstorm, and this was a wicked one. I thought he was asleep, but I looked back to find Guy covering his face with his blanket, holding onto it for dear life. He wouldn't lower that blanket for anything. That was a moment I'll never forget. Blankie surely brought security. Whenever Guy gets a boo-boo, he insists that we immediately apply Blankie to his wound! Blankie has also been employed by Guy as a comedic prop: he used it to play peek-a-boo while making his baby sisters laugh, he used it as a train, as a whip, as a tent, to pretend to be a ghost...the list goes on. Blankie is basically part of our family. I thought blankie would eventually become a family heirloom.
So, you can imagine how distraught I was when we returned home from our family vacation today, to discover that Guy's blanket had been thrown away.
Guy had unknowingly left it at someone's house before we left to visit family for the week. I thought it very strange the Guy did not bring Blankie with us, but I guess he was just so excited to be traveling with cousins, and I was too busy to inquire about the missing blanket.
Another person mentioned to me that Guy's blanket was left in our friend's yard, so relieved, I sent Guy to retrieve it. It was not there. When we knocked on the door, someone responded from another room that it had been thrown away, in the trash...and the garbage had already been collected for the week.
I felt the blood drain from my face. I felt a rush of horror, grief, and disbelief wash over me. I am pretty sure that I went insane with sadness for approximately an hour today. This was not just a blanket to us. It was a symbol of a very special bond of love between mother and son that someone had thoughtlessly tossed in the trash. That action really, really hurt.
My son, who was there, when our friend delivered the news, began crying, a very quiet cry of pure loss that I had never heard from him before. And all I could do was cry too. We didn't exchange any words. We had watched as our friend checked the outside trash cans. He was kindly humoring us. What else could he do? He had already indicated that the trash had been picked up this week, so Guy and I both knew that this was the end of Blankie.
I shudder to think of that blanket lying in a dump somewhere. The love that I poured into making that blanket and the care that Guy attached to it through their many wonderful childhood adventures together...ran through my mind as I had myself a good cry in the shower this morning.
After that, I played strong for my kids. I have taken great efforts to teach my children that things are things and people are people and people are more important than things. But this was a tough one.
Scarlett overheard me sobbing over the phone to my mom as I relayed blankie's terrible fate. My kids have very rarely seen me cry out of true sorrow, so this was very foreign to them. I decided to go buy the exact same yarn and re-knit blankie. (Actually, given the choice, Guy picked the same yarn again!) Just having the yarn in my possession is easing the pain.
My Mom has suggested vengeance for blankie, but I'd rather not taint our memory of blankie and Guy in this way. I had however talked with Guy about being extra-careful, because things that are special to us are not always valued in a similar way by others. That was a sad lesson for all of our family to learn today, but I trust that the Lord brought that lesson into our lives to save us from a bigger heartbreak down the road.
And now, I am just thankful for all of my children and for the memories that we have made together that no one can throw away. And I count it an honor to knit that blanket AGAIN for my firstborn baby. And it will be exactly like the old one, only unimaginably more loved and treasured...by us both.