I slept with my baby blanket until I was 29 years old. No joke. I’m not even ashamed, or embarrassed. My baby blanket was a symbol of a constant, perhaps the only constant, comfort I had as a child. I remember nights of crying, being scared, worrying, praying and my only friend was that blanket. It helped me through many, many things and the only true reason I put it away was because it was so thread bear I couldn’t imagine putting a hole through it. I still have it, locked away in a box.
My son has a baby blanket too. And he has been taking it to his pre school with him (they do have nap time). This morning as I was dropping him off, he asked for it and snuggled up to it as he began to cry because Mommy was leaving. My heart broke on every level imaginable. I am so glad he has a comfort item. It breaks my heart he needs a comfort item. I so badly do not want him to need a comfort item, not like I did anyway. Please, not like I did.
A part of me, the logical part, knows that I am hyper sensitive to his needs because of the issues I have had in my past and the issues he has had with his own father. I so badly want for my child to enjoy his childhood and to survive it with as little damage as possible. Sometimes that seems like an outrageous ask. Sometimes I feel good about the choices I am making for him. He is loved. He is treated fairly and with respect. He is given room to grow, explore and make mistakes.
So today when I pick him up from school I will get a great big hug and a smile (the best!). I will dig through his pack back and make sure his blanket is in his bag and I will understand that comfort comes in many forms and that we must have the baby blanket to sleep. And tomorrow we will do it all over again, remembering that he is still just a child and sometimes children just need their blankies.