These words will forever haunt me. As the youngest of 7 children, each year when my birthday rolls around, I hear these words over and over. This year was no exception. (except this time they came from a friend..ha ha ha).
At age 31 (and two days), I guess I am still in the stages of infancy, in the grand eternal scheme of things. I get that. But after being told countless times by older siblings how "immature" I was as a pre-pubescent, I'm beginning to wonder if I will EVER "grown up" in some peoples eyes. Sigh....
Although, being a baby (or "the baby") does have it's advantages.
#1 Being my dad's "baby girl" (of five daughters) makes me feel just special. He had tears in his eyes as we danced to "Butterfly Kisses" at my wedding reception. The memory still melts my heart. I'll cherish that forever.
#2 Four years ago, when my third child was about one year old, I got to travel "home" without my kiddos. My dad picked me (and my sister) up from the airport and I felt young and free of responsibilities. As I spent the evening with my family, I basked in the glow of being the "baby" again, instead of being at home taking care of my own babies. I needed that. Good Times!
#3 I have 6 older siblings who watch over me with a fierce protectiveness (which may, or may not, be to make up for torturing me as a child.) It's an awesome feeling. Someone's always got my back...and that feels good.
#4 And, most recently, I am more than grateful for my lack of maturity and have found great comfort in reverting to more childlike behavior.
Over two decades ago my mother lovingly "tied" me a quilt for my bed. It was white with little pink flowers. The first several years of it's life saw plenty of use causing plenty of wear. At one point, I took the time to stitch closed, quite haphazardly, the variety of rips and tears it had sustained, using matching white yarn my mother had stored.
I think I must have loved that little quilt in order to have taken the time to do such a thing.
Since those days, so long ago, the quilt has followed me around from place to place, forgotten and overlooked, stored on a high shelf in a closet or tucked away in a box somewhere. Despite receiving very little use, it has continued to age. It now looks quite old and sad. The fabric is so worn that the once, white cotton fibers, are now gray and have a worn down, somewhat silky quality to them. There are several "new" holes and tears, and the batting has long since separated in the center (you can hold it up and see the light through it). It has, without a doubt, seen better days.
Recently, I have rediscovered my love for this old quilt of mine and it has once again been put to good use. We're somewhat inseparable, it and I. I've lovingly named it, my "blankie". It's true...ask my husband. (It's okay...you can laugh.)
This past winter was pretty difficult. I was back in the throws of depression (thanks to my adventures in life without medication) and I felt cold and numb...emotionally and physically (our previous house was always FREEZING in the winter).
One day, during nap time, I ended up grabbing the old white and pink quilt, curling up in a recliner with a cup of hot cocoa (my "vodka"--aka life coping liquid, since I don't drink alcohol), and a good book, hoping to find a "happy place" outside the reaches of my own miserable head.
Something weird happened. It worked. I found it. My "happy place".
I discovered that not only did this quilt give me warmth physically (I call it "insta-warmth") but it also filled my heart with a warmth of days past. Better days...happier days....easier days. I found myself looking for excuses not to be productive during nap time but to "chill" so I could curl up more often and enjoying the overall good feelings that ensued.
And then "it" happened.
In April, amidst the calamity of packing and moving my family (and all that that entails), my world came crashing down around me. I was knocked upside the head with what I term "The Bombshell". I was shocked, I was hurt and I was, once again, cold and numb. I went to bed that night, curled up cocoon style in "my blankie", trying with all the fiber of my being, to find a sliver of warmth and comfort to get me through the night.
And so it continued night after night after night.
As I have worked on recovering (at least from the shock), coping, and healing from "The Bombshell", "my blankie" and I have remained as close as ever. :) As the nights have warmed it has gone from wrapping me in a cocoon, to laying over me, to snuggling at my side and now lays across my pillow.
It's silky softness against my cheek still has a way of warming my heart and reassuring me that "everything will be okay.... someday".
The shrapnel from this difficult life experience will forever be with me. It will never completely go away but as time goes on, the open wounds will heal. I'll be okay.
Despite what you might be thinking....I can go without this scrap of cloth. I don't HAVE to sleep with it. I just like to. It's nice to have something tangible to hold on to. Something that will never hurt you.
Call me a "baby", call me "immature".....whatever. This time it doesn't bother me. In fact, I'll take it as a badge of pride.
I love "my blankie". It's awesome.
Don't be too jealous.
For all y'all quirkies out there like me...do you have something tangible like "my blankie" that you cling to in times of need? Just wondering.
BTW, MMUW celebrated it's very first blogiversary 5 days ago (the 21st) and I didn't even notice AND this is my 100th post. YEAY FOR MMUW!!!
P.S. I love to hear from you!
Leave a comment or e-mail me at melaniesmethodicalmusings at gmail dot com