Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Blue Blanket

It's October. That means it's Everything Awareness Month. Breast cancer ribbons and infant loss Facebook memes lurk around every corner. Everybody's got a meaningful car magnet and t-shirt and there are all kinds of fundraisers for all kinds of diseases and traumas that we're supposed to remember. And be aware of.

Truth be told, I can barely keep track of all the things that I've been diagnosed with. If we start adding in all the other things going on with other people, it's going to take more than a ribbon-shaped magnet on the car to make me properly Aware. A spreadsheet maybe. Or a really long scroll I can carry around in my purse. But I don't have a spreadsheet or a scroll. You know what I do have? I have a blue blanket.
Modeled here by a boy child
I got this blanket at TJ Maxx in June of 2005. It cost 19.99.

Given that I can't remember what I ate for breakfast, it's kind of impressive that I can remember the specifics of this blanket's acquisition. Except that it's not. Doss and I bought this blanket when I first found out I was pregnant. I was still in grad school and money was tight- so it was a big deal to pop twenty bucks on a blanket we didn't really need. But I was pregnant! And I really wanted this blue blanket to cuddle on the couch. And, one day, I'd lay the blanket on the floor and put this baby on it.

Except that never happened. That baby didn't make it. And I thought about throwing out the blue blanket. I mean, it was my pregnancy blanket- looking at it reminded me of losing the baby. But I really liked the blue color. And it had been relatively expensive. So the blanket stayed, hidden in a closet. And then I got pregnant again. I didn't touch the blue blanket the entire time I was pregnant, just in case. But once the boy was born, I finally got to see my baby on the pretty blue blanket.

That blanket saw a lot of baby time

And he grew up on it:
And then came the girl:
The back of the blanket is solid blue.
 And they grew up on the blanket together:

They became best friends on this blanket:

They learned to roll over and crawl on it:

It was just kind of always there. Just part of our home. And the kids have never known the blanket's story:

It was just kind of always there.

Then, it disappears from the pictures. It's not that the blanket went anywhere- it's that the kids got big enough to take pictures sitting places without something to sit on.

The blue blanket was still there, in our home while the kids learned to walk, read, and do tricks on their scooters. It was there while I had cancer and 37 other body parts removed. Through my depression and menopause.

I have a quilt made out of the kids' old baby clothes. It's called a Mother's Quilt. But this old blue striped blanket (that's not as blue as it used to be because it's been washed four billion times) is my real Mother's Quilt. These days, we sit on it at the girl's soccer games:

And so, this October, I choose to be Aware of this old, blue blanket. Because it's old but soft and I still like the way it looks. Because it's survived a whole lot of life but still has lots to offer. Because my kids have no idea what it's been through, and I hope they never do. There's not a t-shirt or ribbon for that. But there should be.