Every kid has some sort of lovey. Something they can’t let go of. Even as adults, we probably have something hidden up in a closet that we held on to when we were little. That comforting stuffed animal or favorite blanket that is now worn thin.
I had Mr. Bun. Mr. Bun was pretty amazing and got attacked by our dog after we were married. My mom had to fix his eye and neck, but I still have it up in a closet. Mr. Bun went to college, Mexico City and mission trips around the world. I had gotten it in an Easter basket one year and it was just the lovey that I needed.
All of our kids have had something. Josiah had these 4 little puppies that we got as a gift from some new friends that has a son with Down Syndrome. They were kind enough to buy the kids presents upon us meeting them and these four little puppies in a basket were just the thing that Josiah loved. He carried them around everywhere. We still have them and each time they pop up Josiah, even though he is 13, gets excited to see those little puppies.
Tullie has a blue elephant that I got from IKEA. That elephant has been all over the country. It has also been dropped on the streets of Seattle and we had to backtrack to find it on top of a trash can outside of Nordstrom. It has been left in Chicago and friends had to send it to us in Albuquerque. It was lost for an extended period of time and was found by a joyful Tullie, and she quickly found that favorite place on the elephant’s trunk that she likes to hold on to.
Ellison has a blanket. It use to be an amazing yellow, now it is kind of a grey/yellow. She would cry when it had to go into the wash. She would weep with joy when it came out of the dryer. We have never lost it and the couple of times that it was misplaced in the house we all thought we were going to lose our minds, because of the anxiety it caused. It was dragged across church floors and tossed down Costco’s aisles. She still can’t sleep without it and is especially protective of that blanket.
Boston was swaddled for 12 months when he took his naps and went to bed. He loved it. I had those big soft swaddling blankets and each time I laid him down his thumb would pop into his mouth and his index finger would get right inside the fold of the blanket. He would suck his thumb and rub the blanket right under his nose with his index finger. We had worn corners of the blankets and they would start to fray. I started with 12 blankets. He liked all of them. They all felt the same, so I never had weeping at the washer, but eventually some of them were beyond repair and they got tossed into the trash.
These blankets got worn around friends’ necks, and dragged across playgrounds. They got stained with chocolate milk and lost in hospitals. Pretty much everyone we knew, knew the importance of the blankie. The blankie equaled Boston’s earthly happiness.
As he got older, we started leaving the blanket at home. We were only down to two. He would even tell me when it had to be washed. Sometimes I told him that it wouldn’t be ready in time for bed. He’d say, “That’s ok. I’m a big boy. I don’t need it!” and take off running till bedtime. He was starting to do away with the blankie and I was starting to make plans of where to store it for safekeeping.
A week before The Accident, I noticed his second to last blanket was really falling apart. There was a very sweet lady, and dear friend, who watched a group of kids at our homeschool co-op in the afternoon and she wore Boston’s blanket around her neck for safekeeping at the park. Her extra winter scarf. I texted her and asked her if she would like a slice of the blanket, because I knew of her love for Boston. She responded with a very big YES! I dropped it in the mail to her.
She received her piece of him the day of The Accident.
From that day on, that blanket has meant more to us then just about anything. We have all slept with it since he went Home. It stays next to my bed, when one of us isn’t sleeping with it, and the other one that I had started to share with our friend, is in our living room on a picture frame.
When my kids started to get attached to lovies, I really loved it. I thought about how precious it was and how they would treasure that particular item forever. They’d have fond memories, just like I do about Mr. Bun. I know it’s a temporary thing, but when you’ve held onto things that have brought you comfort and they’ve been in your arms when you were sick, clung to while watching a movie, cuddled with in order to be swept away to Dreamland and brought into operating rooms, they seem to be more than just objects. They’re a piece of your childhood.
When Boston went Home. That blankie couldn’t go with him. It was temporary for him. It was an object that can’t go beyond this earth. However, that blankie, that object, holds so much more preciousness than what we can even explain. It’s a piece of him. Something that he held onto almost everyday on this earth. He woke in the morning walking into our room with it in his hands and we tucked him into bed with it in his hands at night. We’d see him put his right thumb in his mouth, grab the edge of the blanket with his index finger and rub the material under his nose and doze off to sleep.
Now we hold on to that blankie and rub it between our fingers and doze off to sleep.
We have monster trucks, shoes, shirts, toys and other things that we are going to keep, but that blankie? I’d probably run into a burning building to save it.
Boston is Home. He will not return to us. We will see him when we get Home, and maybe Jesus gave him a new blankie. Who knows. I do know that I am so incredibly grateful for that blankie that is in our hands right now, it is something that we all hold very dear.
So, when your little ones grow out of their lovies, save them. Hold on to them. The memories that those sweet lovies hold will be most dear. We never know how many of those memories with those lovies that our dear little ones will have. Savor them.