With a look of sadness and concern in his blue eyes , he approached me one morning last week, holding his blanket like it was a wounded animal. His blonde hair was going in all directions, obviously the result of a rough night's sleep.
"Mom," his voice cracked. "There are more holes. Can you fix them?" I looked at the lifeless piece of fabric in his hands. I gently picked it up by the corners to assess the recent damage. There were a few big holes and frayed edges. Being careful not to pull on any of the life-bearing threads, I said to him, "I will see what I can do Honey."
Like a skilled surgeon I carefully examined the patient. This was not going to be easy, but I came up with a plan. I called Drew over for my prognosis. "Your blanket isn't looking so good. If it is okay with you, I will sew it to some other fabric and patch up the holes. Ok?" He agreed. The next morning, he reluctantly put his priceless possession into my hands and left for school. I felt I should have had him sign a medical release form before he left, freeing me from all responsibility should something go wrong. ( I am not the best at sewing, the truth is I am not very good at all). After an hour of skillful work (luck actually), the surgery was a success. My reward -- a big smile showing both of his adorable dimples, a hug and a "Thank you Mommy," that oozed with sincerity.
Now some people may say that Drew is getting too old for a blanket and I should just throw it away. Part of me agrees with that, but then the other part of me remembers wrapping him up in that same blanket and rocking him to sleep. This blanket has been more than just a source of comfort at night; it has been a super-hero cape, a bandage for wounded stuffed animals and something to have a pretend picnic on.
Maybe I am using the blanket to hold onto something that is out of my control. My son is growing up and I can't stop that. While I do celebrate each new stage in his life, the truth is, I miss holding him in my lap. I miss having him fall asleep with his head resting on my chest, I miss smelling the powdery fragrance that can only be found on a freshly cleaned baby.
Sure, I can tell him he is too old for a blanket and that it is time for him to grow up, but why? Because I am the adult and I decided he didn't need it anymore? If you think about it, adults have favorite "blankets" too; an old nightshirt that's full of holes or a car stranded in the garage that we swear we are going to fix someday. We would never admit that we have a favorite "blanket." We would never want anyone to know that we have things in our lives that provide us comfort and we would have hard time doing without them.
So what will I do when Drew needs me to fix his blanket again? I'm not sure. I will have to cross that bridge when it comes. For now, though, I am going to enjoy the time I spend with him. I am going to share in his joy as he learns how to read. I am going fill with pride when he tests for his next belt in Karate and I am going to hang up all the wonderful pictures he makes especially for me. He will only be seven once and I want to relish all the exciting moments he will experience at this time in his life.
I kiss him goodnight and tell him to have happy dreams. Quietly, I thank God for giving me my son and for helping me realize just how special each day with him is. I slip into my favorite nightshirt with all the holes in it, then grab my favorite quilt and a family photo album. I nestle into my favorite chair and arrange myself until I am at maximum comfort. With a big sigh, I open the album and begin reliving moments of the past seven years; many which include a little boy's favorite blanket.