It’s quiet here in the house right now, at 7:38 on Thursday night. The girls had preschool today, so they always conk out early. Ethan is upstairs watching a movie, and that leaves the TV to me alone. It doesn’t happen very often, and I love it when does.
I’m looking over at Lila and Mia as they sleep on the couch, each of them with their blankies covering them up. The same blankies that they have been sleeping with since the night they came home from the hospital.
The blankets get up with them in the morning and are carried around throughout the day.
The blankets get wrapped around the girls’ babies, and sometimes end up in the dirt outside, though they aren’t allowed to take them outside.
The blankets need to be wrestled away from the girls to be washed.
The blankets need to be with them anytime they sleep.
When they are upset or scared, they demand “My blankie”.
The blankets are dirty and tattered, and very, very loved.
And then I look down at my feet (I’m on the couch with the laptop on my lap, so I can’t see them) and notice Ethan’s Blue Blankie. Yes, he has named her. Yes, he has declared Blue Blankie a “she”. If he wants Blue Blankie, he’ll say “Mommy, can you get me Blue Blankie? She is downstairs.” Blue Blankie is like family.
Blue Blankie is actually a My Blankee that someone gave me at my baby shower for Ethan. I fell in love with it the first time I felt it; it was so soft and cuddly, and I knew I wanted to wrap him up in it as soon as I could.
Blue Blankie quickly became a source of comfort and warmth. She was an extension of Ethan – although I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time, I was giving him security and love by wrapping him in that blanket.
Even I didn’t mind getting cozy with Blue Blankie and Ethan. She really is a good blanket!
Blue Blankie used to go everywhere with him. EVERYWHERE. And today, as it has been for the last week or so, Blue Blankie is brought down with him in the morning, and then tossed on the couch until bedtime.
Which brings me to Kissing Hands. How many of you moms are familiar with the book The Kissing Hand? I had never heard of it or read it (or technically had it read to me) until Ethan’s first day of kindergarten.
Here’s a short synopsis:
Chester Raccoon doesn’t want to go to school–he wants to stay home with his mother. She assures him that he’ll love school–with its promise of new friends, new toys, and new books. Even better, she has a special secret that’s been in the family for years–the Kissing Hand. This secret, she tells him, will make school seem as cozy as home. She takes her son’s hand, spreads his tiny fingers into a fan and kisses his palm–smack dab in the middle: “Chester felt his mother’s kiss rush from his hand, up his arm, and into his heart.” Whenever he feels lonely at school, all he has to do is press his hand to his cheek to feel the warmth of his mother’s kiss.
So of course, when it was time for me to leave him for his first day of kindergarten, we did the Kissing Hand. And the next day, he wanted both hands kissed. Up until about two weeks ago, he asked me every morning for Kissing Hands when I dropped him off at school.
First the Kissing Hands disappear and now Blue Blankie is being slowly given up.
My baby boy isn’t a baby at all anymore, he’s leaving the need for the physical security of an object behind. He’s slowly stepping out on his own, learning what independence is.
And while I love watching him grow and learn, another part of me is dreading it. I keep thinking that one day he won’t even need (or want) me to drop him off at school. One day he will pick his friends over me. One day he will decide that I don’t know what I’m talking about and will dismiss everything I say. One day he will think that he doesn’t even like me and that I’m just a bitch who is trying to make his life miserable, while also trying to eliminate the potential for any fun that he wants to have.
And now there are tears. My tears. These last few years have been so challenging for me; raising three young kids so close in age ain’t for the weak. And I fear that I spent too much time not relishing it…just wanting to get through it. But I am looking back and realizing how fast it sped past – the girls now hot on his tail. Pretty soon, this will all just be memories I’m looking back on.
Everyday, I am just going through the motions, trying to make it through the day. I want it to be bedtime again about 5 minutes after the kids wake up. I daydream about a long vacation with Jason and without the kids. I think about all of the “me time” and sleeping in and fun that I’m missing because I am busy raising the kids.
I am missing out on them. Right now, I am just trying to get from one day to the next, but missing so much in between. I need to sit down on the carpet and play with them more. Be silly. Laugh. Embrace the everyday.
They need this. They deserve it. I need it too, for me. I never want to look back and regret the time I’m wasting away by wishing it was already gone.