I’ve made a lot of things in the decades that I’ve been crafting. I could never have imagined that the most important would be a simple quilt that I whipped up in a few minutes when I was pregnant with my daughter to save some money on my nursery decor.
I don’t even remember where I bought the Winnie the Pooh crib quilt panel that I used. I just know that it worked with the yellow paint on the walls and with the other Pooh items that we had bought. I didn’t worry too much about durability when I was making it. The quilt was just intended to be mostly a decorative item.
But somewhere along the way, something happened. The quilt that I had so casually whipped up ceased to be just a quilt and became “Blanket”. Blanket with a capital B – Bridget’s buddy, her security lovey.
She would sleep anywhere if she had her blanket.
And by anywhere, I really mean anywhere. Even standing up.
And she also wouldn’t sleep without it – resulting in numerous frantic drives across town when it got forgotten during sleepover trips to her grandparents.
Most kids would give up their blanket by the time they were school aged, but autism marches to its own beat. The years went on. My toddler became a pre-teen, and then a teen, still faithfully toting her blanket to bed each night.
Over those years, as well as being her sleep companion, Blanket saw Bridget through numerous traumas and scary moments. Since her diagnosis with arthritis and other auto-immune issues in 2011, her blanket has been her companion for dozens of hospital visits.
After 15 years of hard service, Blanket is now tattered, torn, and dirty almost beyond recognition despite my washing attempts. I’ve been trying for quite awhile to raise the possibility of “retiring” blanket in favor of a new one. But my loyal little girl would not give up her Blanket.
Then, a few days ago, Bridget came to me very distressed. Blanket had a large new hole and was shedding batting in chunks through it. This for some reason upset her more than the fact that the entire edge of the quilt had frayed open revealing the batting ages ago. She finally agreed to my suggestion that Blanket be retired (but only after I assured her that Blanket wasn’t going anywhere and was being stored safely away in a special box in the closet). A fuzzy Olaf blanket that she got for Christmas awhile back was settled on as Blanket’s replacement.
Proving she’s a scrapbooker’s daughter, Bridget had one other request before Blanket was formally retired. She asked me to take pictures of her with Blanket. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige! She never poses or wants to do anything for a camera, but the photo above of her cuddling Blanket was all her idea.
This is a huge moment for us. I’m relieved to not have to worry how many more washings blanket will survive. And her saying goodbye to blanket – as well as how she did it – is a sign of progress in her development.
But a part of me will miss seeing her clinging to the blanket that I made her, almost like a visible sign of the piece of my heart she carries around.