Four nights ago, he went to bed without his beloved Blankie. He’d misplaced it at some point in the day, and in the middle of a frantic search, I walked by his room to see him laying down, unperturbed and cuddling a cardboard box of wooden blocks in his arms. If he wasn’t freaking out, why should I?
The next night, I knew where Blankie was but wanted to see if he asked for it and he didn’t. His box of blocks and a hardback, over-sized book were what he wanted to slumber with instead. Last night, he crawled into bed with his big, plastic spaceship, once again without asking about his blanket and tonight he carried his pirate ship up the stairs, hopped into bed and promptly left for dreamland.
I go in each evening, when I am sure that he is sound asleep, and carefully peel his fingers from whatever it is he took to bed. I roll him over and collect any blocks or trains that he smuggled in when I wasn’t looking, amazed that he can sleep so soundly with so many hard-edged, little toys poking into his spine. Each morning, I sigh as I help him dress, noticing the tiny little polka dots of yet more bruises from sleeping on a missed Matchbox helicopter or one of GI Joe’s boots. It doesn’t feel right to go in and adjust the tubing for his g-tube, check on Corrigan and not find his little fingers poked through Blankie’s holes, one corner always up and over his mouth and nose.
It’s bittersweet. Blankie has been by his side for so long, through so many traumatic events, brought him so much comfort in the midst of so much pain, I thought that Blankie was so intertwined with Corrigan and his emotions that it would always just be a part of things. It’s been on countless helicopter rides and even went into the operating theater with him twice (Mommy took it out as soon as anesthesia kicked in). The hospital laundry shut down once in search of Blankie, when it was accidentally left behind on the gurney when they brought Corrigan up to the floor from the ER. Blankie has been thrown up on hundreds of times, and Corrigan has stood by the dryer just as often, waiting for it to be back in his arms again. I’ve Franken-stitched it back together more times than I could count and would hold my breath that it would survive just one more wash, it became so fragile over the years.
And to think that my very first thought, upon walking into the ER and seeing him chewing on the edge that first night, was “why’d they give him a girl-colored blanket?”
It’s not that big of a deal, and he may still ask for it again, or he may not. I will wash it and have it ready in case that he does. And I will be sure to grab it should we need to make a hospital run, he may still find comfort in it during those more trying times.
Or he may not. *sniff*
I know, he’s a big boy now- nearly six years old- it’s time. I won’t cry about it, but as I’m typing there’s this lump in my throat and my eyes are stinging. The pollen count in this room must be through the roof tonight or something, but I’m fine. He’s fine. I just wanted to document it here. Just another step.
Corrigan’s beloved Blankie was handmade and donated through the amazing Project Linus organization. I long ago sent a heartfelt thank you to the person who knitted (crocheted?) Corrigan’s Blankie but I want to say it again to both her and all of the volunteers. THANK YOU. Thank you to each of you that have knitted, crocheted, sewed and tied fleece knots for children that could use a little comfort. Corrigan has been the recipient of five Project Linus blankets over the years, each one beautifully made but none made the impression that that purple and pink blanket did for my boy. I will forever be grateful for that which you provided so selflessly.