Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Milestone That Wasn't

Remember Blanket? .... Aw, come on, sure you do! Blanket.... Mister J's constant bedtime companion (except for that one time when he got left behind at Grandma RL's). Well, friends, Blanket is getting old. He's been hanging around with Mister J for the better part of the last 5 years, and unfortunately blankets age faster than people. He's had his share of love, his share of travel, his share of bodily fluids, and his share of 'baths' (in a lingerie bag on the washer's gentle cycle). He's wearing out. Some places in the yarn are worn so thin that I fear they will pop and unravel with another wash.

I dreaded the day that Blanket would unravel. I gently worked with the thin places, pulling the yarn to a thicker point before tying a loop of yarn into a knot. I reminded Mister J that Blanket is delicate. I'd tried once to find a replacement blanket. When I brought it home, Mister J informed me that it didn't feel the same. So, that was that, and this new blanket was just added to the pile of kid-sized blankets and quilts to be used for camp-outs, naps, and playtime.

I was out shopping with Mom/Grandma RL a few days before Christmas and we dropped in at a local consignment shop. I always check out the children's section, and this trip was no different. And there it was - a lovely, light blue, knitted/crocheted (I can't tell the difference) blanket. I walked over to it, felt it, and was instantly excited that this blanket might be The One. I didn't buy it right away - I'd been down that road - but I decided I would approach Mister J with the idea that evening.

Mister J is most often tearful when the subject of Blanket's future comes up, so I tiptoed a bit when I brought it up. I decided to leave the choices completely to Mister J. I explained what I found at the store and asked if he was interested in looking at it if it was still there (it's a consignment store after all, so there was only one). His answer? Yes. Whew! Two days before Christmas, Mister J and I went back to the store to look at the blanket. It was still there. I took it off of the shelf, opened the bag (I'd already checked it for snags, etc., the first time I saw it), and let Mister J feel it. He liked it! The final question - could we put Blanket away in a special place and let this New Blanket be the one he would snuggle with at bedtime. With a smile on his face, he said yes. I could have cried. Instead, I smiled, we walked to the front of the store, and I gave Mister J the money to pay for the New Blanket.

That night, as I was tucking him into bed with a freshly washed New Blanket, Mister J asked me when I was going to put Blanket in a safe place. Truly, at this point, I could have boo-hooed. This was so much easier on Mister J than I thought it would be! And, for that reason, it was so hard on me! Right before my eyes, my baby is growing up. When did milestones turn into barely noticeable dips in the road? This wasn't even a bump - not for him. I am so proud of him, even though it was bittersweet for me.

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