I was branded from the beginning – a name I couldn’t read, but which made me hers. I was created for her by her parents, to wrap around her and make her feel safe and secure when the arms of her parents couldn’t be there.
Her tiny fingers found my strings and twisted them endlessly, my soft backing held to her face in that twilight time just before sleep overcame perpetual motion. I soon ventured beyond the bedroom and into the backyard, the front yard, the car.
I became her constant companion. I covered her as she suffered through the chicken pox. I wrapped around her to keep her warm at swim meets. I soaked up her tears in the night when the world didn’t play fair.
In moments of anxiety, boredom, fear, sorrow, her fingers found my strings and twisted them tighter and tighter. The loose strings transformed into balls of yarn that were teased straight only to be twisted again.
The wear and tear of love took its toll. My fabric thinned. My strings loosened, and some went missing. Eventually, small rips and tears appeared…ragged testament to her love and dependence. Despite my obvious shortcomings and defects, her love never wavered and neither did mine.
In the natural course of things, the time came for her to leave home and strike out on her own. I was old, and fragile—too fragile. After being at her side for every journey, I could not accompany her on this one. Her room was suddenly empty and silent, and I was packed away.
When I saw light again, she was different. Older, more worn. The child I’d known had children of her own. I was unpacked, but not to take up my former position. I have become a treasure, a keepsake. Still loved, but with a more gentle and careful affection. I am with her again. I am home.
This post is a response to a prompt from Write On Edge: This week, tell a piece of your story from the point of view of an object who bore witness.
I’ve written about my blankie – a large, tied quilt my parents made for me as a baby. The blankets were something of a family tradition–my sister and I both had one, and most (if not all) of the babies born in our family had one. Childhood designs had been drawn onto them, along with our names, making them ours. I never went anywhere without mine – swim meets, family vacations, the playground–and it showed.
What followed you through childhood? Do you still have it?