Dear Baby Blanket


Dear Baby Blanket, a poetic letter to saying goodbye to my children's baby years and reflecting on how motherhood has changed. A tear-jerking ode to baby memories #baby #sahm #motherhood #sewing #blankets #momblog

I recently cleaned out my boys' closets and was totally arrested in my progress by coming across their baby blankets, so in honor of the wonderful keepsake that is the baby blanket, I wrote this little piece to help me process. I hope you can relate if your babies are growing up and it offers you a pang of recognition.

Mama’s Heart Strings

I sit here rummaging through toddler clothes, too small, too stained, being tossed into neglected piles bound for dish rags or to be donated to other children. Coming across you is different.

Your soft threads and dingy color do nothing but force me to bury my face in your familiar comfort. The sweet scent…is it there?

Yes. The unmistakable baby smell lingers as softly as catching honeysuckle on a breeze.

Maybe it’s not really there, but in this case, ignorance truly is bliss, and I am swept into a thousand memories.

I received you at my first baby shower, when I was still 
me, before my heart was cleaved into two more beings. When my worries and exhaustions—when love itself—felt grand and encompassing. How small they all felt the day our babies arrived.

So often those first few months, sleep alluded me. They slept soundly and my terror at awaking to silence was only comforted in seeing them sleeping peacefully, wrapped in your wispy embrace. That comfort always managed to lull me back into a comfortable snooze in the rocking chair.

Your loose weave stretched to a loving hug when everyone told me my own arms could have hurt them. You kept them warm and cozy when I couldn’t.

They grew and you became more.

            The personification of my own existence, you rose to
 be a shield, a game, a canopy, a mat, a toy, a towel.

You stretched and tore, because stained and frayed, much 
like my own body, you were there to do your best—and you really did.

Wiping rain and drool and milk from their faces, shielding them from sun and wind and the public restroom changing table, you took the brunt to keep our babies safe.

            When I needed sleep or a moment to myself, your 
sweet swaddle soothed them to sleep. Never constricting, you let a limb escape to keep me from worrying, and as they grew, you were no less important.

            I slept with you too, so they could smell me from their 
crib. I soon became as attached as they to our ritual that wove us together. Invisible heart strings connected by simple 
muslin.

            Older and older, you became entertainment.

Throwing you overboard at night meant an extra tucking-in, 
which I was always happy to do.
Occasionally, a diaper explosion would leave you soiled and 
stained, but those stains make me laugh, and you never once complained.

            Bigger and bigger, eventually their toes peeked out 
from under your seams.
Fewer restrooms and braving to explore their world meant 
they needed you less and less. I often miss stroller walks when you were a light canopy and all felt right and perfect.

            Finally, they no longer need you.

They haven’t needed you for a long time, so you’ve kept these 
memories folded among you—waiting until I was ready to say goodbye—but I can’t.

Dingy and worn and torn and stained.

Stretched and loved and wrinkled.

Hugged and swaddled—I can’t get rid of you.

You are me.


They won’t need me one day, just like they don’t need you. 
This is the part when I’m supposed to remember I’ll still be 
loved and useful and cherished when that time comes.

            I’ll wash you and patch your holes and sew you back 
together. A light, soft muslin cocoon in which to wrap myself until I become something else too.

            I ask you now to be mine and I’ll try to remember that 
old, worn things are just as loved—if not more so--than perfectly new ones.

With all my love,

Comments

  1. Honey, this is beautiful! I too feel like that rugged old blanky! Still trying to find my placed in this world since you girls flew the coop! Life is so different now then 30yrs ago when you took your first breath! Yes, the tears are flowing with memories of fresh new blankies from my first baby shower with anticipation of yall's arrival! Sesame Street blanky was there for both of you girls first breath!

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    Replies
    1. I have that blanky in the closet with their other quilts, haha!
      I'm glad you enjoyed my story :-*

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