A (Baby) Blanket for the World

The other day when I helped my eight-year-old daughter pack for a slumber party, I managed to stuff her grandfather's duffel bag with socks, underwear, sweats, toothbrush hair brush, sleeping bag, and pillow.

Just before we left, she darted up the stairs without a word and came back with the baby blanket her great-grandmother made when I was in the fourth grade and stuffed that in, too.

Her best friend's party would include girls she knew, but not as well, along with some strangers. I admired her frankly taking care of a need for a bit of comfort in the face of all that female company.

Somehow, I'm not surprised it fit. Life is full of small miracles.

My father's mother crocheted that blanket shortly after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given a life expectancy. I was about my daughter's age at the time. My grandmother made this blanket, a sweater, and several other soft and homey wonders to leave me something. This was a courageous and loving response to her own devastating news.

The blanket has become sacramental for this very reason. When I fish it out of the bed in the morning and tuck it under my daughter's pillow, I wonder if my grandmother could have imagined that this little bit of pale green acrylic, so beautiful and competently constructed that it has survived everything, is the loving touch of an ancestor reaching through time and space and offering a child a bit of comfort in a world that can be hard and cold and relentlessly indifferent.

How good to feel free to reach for that hand.


When I emptied out her bag, I left it on top of the newspapers ready for recycling: more about the Petit murders, a slaying on a Naugatuck street, a pedophile trading good grades for sex with high school kids, yet another priest accused of molesting a child, collapsing bridges and coal mines, the governor's gas guzzling autos, earthquakes in Peru, and on and on.

I wonder how long so many strands of yarn worked into a blanket 30 years ago will protect her from, or at least soften her encounters with, the world that awaits.

Double checking that bag for stray socks an shaking out that blanket, I can't help believing love prevails.

Comments

  1. Beautiful post, Sandy.

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  2. A wonderful slice of life.

    The things we weave now do reach into the future... the question is, what are we weaving? Your grandmother's choice in this regard is inspiring.

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  3. Anonymous2:42 PM

    Don't we all wish we could have that bit of security with us at all times, that love to cover us over no matter what news the day holds?

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  4. This is so beautifully written. Thank you.

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  5. What have we received in love, and what will we pass on? Wonderful questions to ponder. Thank you for a beautiful post.

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  6. Lovely entry Sandy! I love coming here because I always feel uplifted afterwards .. :)

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  7. Anonymous7:55 PM

    I'm sure she is watching all the good things this child will do and enjoy in her life.

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  8. there's something totally unique & safe about blankets especially those made by grandmothers :)

    while I no longer use mine, it's still lying in my cupboard

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  9. A beautiful story.....a great truth....and....I agree that love DOES prevail.

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