Lucy: You think you're so smart with that blanket. What are you going to do with it when you grow up?
Linus: Maybe I'll make it into a sport coat.
Some would call it a security blanket. Cooper and Violet, two little Upper Westsiders that I occasionally babysit, call it a silkie. The 1983 film Mr. Mom called it a wubby. But to me, it's always been a blankie.
Last month as I was saying goodbye to my Great Gram, I also felt enormous relief that I had one enduring remembrance of her - my handmade baby blanket. She made hundreds of them for relatives and friends over the years, but it’s highly possible I am the only one who, at 28, still insists on sleeping with it every single night. Yes, I slept with my blankie last night and I will sleep with it tonight. I am all the way out of the blankie closet. It is my most cherished worldly possession and it means even more to me now that Gram is gone.
Part of the attachment, aside from the fact that Gram made it just for me with her little arthritic hands, rests in the fact that my blankies, past and present, and I have been to Hades and back. What, two blankies? It's a long story...
From birth in 1981 until March 2001, I had the same Gram-made pink blankie. It made both a magnificent ball gown and a durable tent, a dainty tablecloth for tea parties and the shroud I wore over my face so no one could tell when I’d been crying. When RaeRae was about a year old, she got into my nail polish and slopped some on a corner of my blankie. The stain was permanent, and I disowned her for a while as a result. And you know what a wretched little beast my brother was back in the day, but even he knew that no one could come between my blankie and me and live to tell about it.
As you can imagine, over the course of 19 years, my blankie had become quite tattered and worn. Though its yellow, pink and blue houses and trees were faded and the pink satin binding had been rubbed off, replaced and rubbed off again, I still took that raggedy blankie everywhere – nap time in pre-K, sleepovers in middle school, high school Future Business Leaders of America conferences in Orlando, cheerleading camp, college; England, France, Mexico… and finally, on a fateful spring break trip to California.