The other day I was watching “Good Things Utah” and saw a short little segment with all of the cute ladies talking about their childhood blankies. It brought back an incredible flood of memories which I haven’t ever shared.
Minkie came into my life almost immediately. My Grandma June made him (yes, Minkie is a him) for me while my mother was pregnant with me. His colors are the typical for the time period- yellow and green. At that time, there was no way of knowing if you were having a boy or a girl so, all little boys and girls were dressed and accessorized in the very neutral yellow and green.
Most children with addictions to their blankies are pretty secure with the fact that they can survive life without these items by the age of 7 or 8. Right! Wrong! My Minkie accompanied me well into my life.
From the very beginning Minkie never left my side. He accompanied me to the grocery store, to the doctors office, every single car ride and of course, to bed. I am sure that my mom had to wait until I was completely asleep before she would snag for a midnight washing. She recalls times of having to wash it while I was awake. It must have caused real trauma in my life because I would sit next to the washing machine and cry until my Minkie came out nice and fluffy.
Once when I was in high school, yes high school, I came home from a night out and couldn’t find my Minkie. I looked everywhere and he was nowhere to be found. Frustrated and tired, I finally woke up my mom and asked her if she had seen it. She mentioned that she had seen my brother holding earlier in the evening. Uh oh, I was in trouble. He had been angry with me earlier. I ran down to his room and shook him away demanding my Minkie. He denied any knowledge of his whereabouts until I threated to decaptiate his teddy bear. It was only at this point that he confessed that he burried Minkie in the backyard while in a fit of rage. Pathetically, at 1:00 a.m. I trudged out the backyard with my shovel and dug around until I found Minkie.
Aside from being burried alive, Minkie has survived several close encounters. He has been burned more than once, painted over while staining the front deck, and lost on the bottom of Lake Powell more than once. Once I even called out a search party and the entire group searched for over a half hour with goggles and snorkling masks. That was when I was 18.
Minkie was with me when I moved up to Idaho to go to school. He even went camping with my roommates and I. Minkie had every intention in the world of going on my mission with me. He was quite the trooper in the MTC. It was with great sorrow that I handed him over at the airport to my mom. I was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to withstand the harsh terrain of the Dominican Republic.
You would think that the time on my mission, learning, growing, becoming a secure independent adult would cure me of the need to have a stained, ripped baby blanket as my constant companion. Oh, well, you think wrong. Minkie and I picked up right where we had left off the day I came home. It was the happiest of reunions.
Minkie went on to travel with me to New Zealand, the Bahamas, Mexico and back and forth to visit my grandmother. Each time that she would see me and my blanket she would chuckle and say that it was stitched together with love. She kept telling me that she would have to write to the gingham company and tell them that the quality of their fabric was beyond compare.
When I got married, we honeymooned in the Virgin Islands. Minkie came along for the ride. He was there with me on the day that I gave birth to Kyra. He helped ease my stress and made my day easier. When I came home from the hospital, there was a package in my living room. It was from my grandma. I opened up a green and yellow checkered blanket. It was not exactly the same as Minkie but as close as she could come. There was a cute note that said that although Minkie was an amazing blanket, she feared that he would not last long with little ones in the house so, she was sending a backup. I was touched beyond belief.
It was a sad moment the day that I retired Minkie. He was thread bare and full of holes. I had to wash him in a pillowcase just to make sure that he made it out of the wash in one piece. Unable to relinquish him from my life, Minkie was gently tucked away in my closet in a little ziplock bag. He is now so thin that he can fit into a sandwich bag.
Grandma has since passed away. I miss her every single day. I look at Minkie from time to time and remember how much she loved me and I miss her even more. I know that Minkie truly was stitched with love. How else could a thread bare baby blanket survive 30+ years of hugs, tears, love and heartbreak. She really put a kiss in with every stitch.
I have discovered that the love for blankies is hereditary. Every single one of my kiddos has aquired a taste for a particular blankie. Grandma made Kyra’s. My mother bought Kaeson’s. Toads was purchased just before he was born. All three of them sleep with their blankies, carry them around the house and take them on every trip. This is one thing that I am truly excited that I passed onto my kids.