Growing Together: Golden Spoons and the Blankie

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growing together

With my daughter, it was a monkey. A little stuffed monkey with a rattle inside. She sleeps with it still. My son has his cheetah. A small stuffed cheetah, swag that I brought home from a conference but somehow more important to him than the pluto or goofy we bought him at Disney.

Today, Lisa shares her story of her littlest and a blankie. I feel the same way about the day when monkey and cheetah are no longer clung to in the same way.

I met Lisa a month ago at Blog U and we even hung out in her dorm room so she feels like an old college friend! I am so honored to have her here today. Enjoy her words and then be sure to visit her at The Golden Spoons!

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My youngest daughter, my “baby,” will turn seven in just a few short weeks. Somehow, seven seems like such a huge leap from six. It’s second grade instead of first. It’s more independence and more personality shining through. It’s hard for this mama to wrap her heart around it.

It’s also this:

girl and blankie

That’s my sweet girl still groggy one morning after having just rolled out of bed. She is snuggling a familiar friend – one of her many “blankies.” In times of fatigue or fright, these rags that are nothing more than old cloth diapers once used as burp cloths, are her trusty companions.

When she was an infant, I would nurse her and, then, hold her on my shoulder with a blankie slung across it to catch the inevitable. As I patted her tiny back, she would, eventually, rest her head on my shoulder and fall asleep with her delicate, little cheek pressed against the softness of the cloth.

As she grew, she continued to find comfort in those blankies. She would cover her face with them, taking in their clean scent, as she dozed off. She carried them with her everywhere and I did not dare to leave the house without a primary and a spare.

Time marched on, though, and the blankies became less necessary. She went to preschool and they stayed in the car. Then, she went to kindergarten and they stayed at home. Now, at almost seven, she still snuggles them through the night and whenever they are not a hindrance during the day, but she doesn’t need them like she once did.

Nevertheless, she clings to them still. Metaphorically, I cling to them, too. You see, they are the last shred of babyness left in her; left in our lives.

When we had her, our third daughter, we knew with confidence that she would be our last. I have never regretted that decision and have no desire for a fourth. However, with that decision, every single one of her firsts also became a last. The last first words; the last first steps; the last first birthday; the last first day of preschool and kindergarten. Soon, the very last day ever of having a six year old. I am extremely grateful and proud as I watch her grow. I appreciate her increasing self sufficiency and her ever blossoming personality. Yet, there is something so incredibly bittersweet about all of these lasts firsts.

The pacifiers and diapers are long gone, but the blankies remain. As she, again, takes in their scent and feels their softness against her freckled cheek, I cling to the last remaining morsels of a rapidly disappearing phase of life. As I look forward to the future, I also hold on to the past.

One day, she will spread her wings and fly away, but, even then, I’m certain the blankies will stay. Perhaps, then, I will be the one pressing them to my cheek, soaking up tears; finding comfort in their softness and the perfume of days gone by.

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Lisa Witherspoon is a former preschool teacher turned blogger and freelance writer, who lives in North Carolina with her husband and three amazing daughters. Fueled by coffee and chocolate, Lisa writes about the joys, frustrations, surprises, and chaos of motherhood on her blog, The Golden Spoons. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

19 Comments

  1. I know the feeling well and for us it is only 2 girls instead of three, but still Lily being my last was a conscious decision, but still I definitely feel weepy at times when each and every last occurs and try to enjoy each stage a bit more knowing I will never quite go through it again with a child of my own. And by the way, Lily also has a trusted blankie and I liken her to Linus from Peanuts gang, because in the mornings and at night, she walks around with just like he did in the now famous show.
    Janine Huldie recently posted..Emma’s Frozen 5th Birthday Party CelebrationMy Profile

  2. My 6 year old girl is the same way with her blanket. She can do without when she has to, but at night or when she’s tired, she needs it.
    Maggie Draper recently posted..Preparing Your Kids for a Car RideMy Profile

  3. So sweet! My youngest daughter is about to turn seven also, and it is bittersweet. My girls are growing up right before my eyes!
    Ginny Marie recently posted..There’s Banana In My Ear! {A Cautionary Tale}My Profile

  4. So beautiful. My son is still quite young, and yet already I see his baby-ness fading, and I just want to cling to it so badly. These blankies become such important symbols for children and parents alike.
    Katie @ Pick Any Two recently posted..When the Popular Kid Gets BulliedMy Profile

  5. How sweet. My daughter is also seven. It makes me sad that she’s growing up!
    Amber recently posted..Things That Annoy Me Thursday: ThongsMy Profile

  6. Oh, Lisa – this is wonderful. I had a blankie that I even took to college with me, and in May my mom found it and gave it to me. What memories! I will never get rid of that blankie, or the ones my kids used. Never ever.
    Dana recently posted..How to Text Like a TeenagerMy Profile

  7. AW!! So beautifully written Lisa! Bittersweet… the lasts of firsts. Sigh.

    Hold on to that blankie, mama! She’ll always be your baby… no matter how much she grows up!
    Chris Carter recently posted..The Best Marriage Resources for Newlyweds and Seasoned Spouses.My Profile

  8. Aww! I may cry.
    I feel that way with Des, although I’m not 100% sure he’s my last. I still go through the motions as if it were the case.
    I still have my Donald Duck from babyhood.
    Scarlet’s never had a lovey. I can’t believe it. It changes daily for her. Des has one and then a second favorite too.
    Tamara recently posted..Well, Happy Birthday To Me! Love, Cassidy.My Profile

  9. I didn’t want my kids to grow up before, and now I REALLY don’t want them to grow up. The blankie love is so sweet. What a fantastic reminder of the little years.
    Leslie recently posted..{Friday Five}My Profile

  10. 1. None of my three girls ever had a blankie or anything like it. No remnant of youth, no must-have item she couldn’t be without. Hardly even a favorite shirt or toy, now that I think of it. I wonder why.

    2. I love that you just let her. I think some parents would want to find ways to separate a kid from a comfort item because they’re of a certain age. I love how you see similar feelings in yourself.

    3. As a parent of older kids, I can say that there are stepping stones like this that have a defined ending; there are many others that just fade away and you wonder what happened. Luckily, there are so many more adventures to take their place.
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted..Go Ask Daddy About Ethnic Rugs, Cartoon Currents and Psy’s LegacyMy Profile

  11. I could cry… I totally may cry.

    My oldest is 6 1/2 and she sniffs her pink bunny when she’s groggy. She goes to sleep with a bunny and sits on the couch with it in the morning. She has several because we were “smart” when we realized she was attached to them (so we purchased a whole bunch).

    I can’t imagine (nor do I want to imagine) the day she stops sniffing that bunny. However, a part of me knows that it just wouldn’t be “okay” for a 14-year-old to be sniffing a bunny. *Deep breaths*

    Beautiful post… resonated with me so much.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted..{these moments: July 2014}My Profile

  12. Thanks for sharing with the SHINE Blog Hop!

    This read almost brought tears to my eyes! I am also having my last “firsts” and it truly is a bittersweet affair! I guess we all get to this point at one time or another.

    Hang in there!

    And btw, I too live in N.C. =)

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