I will never remember my very first experience with it. I can't even remember the first five years with it. I know it was there though because it wouldn't mean so much to me now if it hadn't been there since the beginning. The blanket became as routine as brushing my teeth or changing into pajamas. The blanket was always waiting there for me, no matter the mess. I've always kept it there, and still do, all night by my side, with a promise I would return. It is the least I could do to show my appreciation for the years it swaddled me tight. It now crosses my mind that I should have given the blanket a real name instead of just the standard blanket. This blanket has spent every night with me for twenty four years, giving me time to develop a strong sense for it.
It's one of those things not everyone would understand,-I thought to myself when my wife noticed I still cuddled that old thing. Of course, I could sleep just fine with out it, but why would I want to? She would have need to have the life experiences I shared with blanket to completely understand. I would never dare go as far as to say "I want my blanket" as author Larry Woiwode and his brother would to their mother demanding, "We want an orange,"in Woiwode's short essay, "Ode to an Orange".(44) Now the blanket stays tucked next to our bed, just close enough that I would not have to ask for it. It is close enough that if need be, I could grab it and sneak it close to me without the notice of my wife.
This blanket was there for me all night, every night as a servant. If I had a lot on my mind or if I was bored I could finger the little crocheted holes, keeping me occupied or clearing my mind. If it was one of those hot summer nights where sleeping made you sweat, blanket's yarn was the perfect temperature, not too cold, but just right. Blanket somehow never absorbed the summers heat as the comforter or sheets would. On the nights when it was just too cold under the sheets, hugging it to your chest felt like slipping into a sweater. Everything about it is perfect including that soft but not incredibly soft feeling it had, a more 'worn down' soft. Smelling it would remind you of dreams from the previous night. If counting sheep wouldn't put you to sleep, blanket would. The yarn that it was made of no longer resembled yarn. Sticking it my mouth wouldn't tickle and gag me as new yarn would. If I were ever to awake in the middle of the night, my first thought would be to find it. No matter how much effort and commotion I put into searching for it, the second it was found I was sure to be fast asleep. The blanket seems to somehow hide when it comes time to do laundry. It probably gets washed just a few times out of the year. Somehow it still carries no stink with it. The yarn is to compact, too compressed to let smells in.
When you are around something every day you don't seem to notice when it changes unless that change is drastic. Based on the dull color it is now, I could only assume it is the same color it always has been. They way it looks like old easter decorations, the pastel colors so worn down, almost matching each other. I have learned that isn't how it has always looked. My grandmother replicated this blanket for my son, Atticus, using the same pattern and the same yarn as mine. You can see the age. You can understand where it has traveled. I can see the colors now so faded that they all resemble each other, so close in comparison. The little intricate crocheted design has stretched, giving the blanket much more size, conveniently keeping up with me.
I have always had the notion in the back of my mind that it was silly to keep it. Maybe soon it will be time to part ways with blanket. In "Writing and Seeing 3" it says "Purpose is the reason for writing-the intention that motivates us and controls why and how we write"(386). As I chose the topic for this paper and as I was writing it I had the thoughts in my head that I had a secret purpose. I needed some sort of event to help me part ways with my blanket. Something that would signify a farewell to blanket. I feel now that this paper could be just what I was looking for to help me do that.
I would still have all the memories to hold with me, never letting me forget about the blanket. I will always remember the time when, as a child, I had my very first sleep over at a neighbor friends Birthday party. It was nonsense to not bring blanket with me like my mother had suggested. I packed blanket into my sleeping bag, rolled it up and headed out the door. I don't remember if I was made fun or if any of the other boys even noticed, but I do remember tying a Birthday balloon to blanket. I wanted blanket to have a keepsake to remember one of its few times out of the house. In my five year old mind that would be not only normal but very thought full of me. It is now twenty years later and there is still that little knot tired to blanket. Blanket is holding that tinfoil not as a remembrance of the time he was more than a blanket, but a friend. It was only a few weeks ago that the little knot finally fall off. I guess blanket was showing me that he was ready to part with the past as I should be as well.
Maybe now I could give blanket to my mother like she pleases, so she can keep it locked away in some closet. She can make him some sort of keepsake. If I do decide to give blanket up I will keep my hopes that maybe Atticus will keep his blanket close to him, like I did my blanket.