You all know about Lovey, the shredded bundle of threads that, once upon a time, was the security blanket that I carried absolutely everywhere, except when- well, except when I lost it, which happened a lot. In truth, Lovey still does go “everywhere” in that I still keep it in my nightstand wherever I live. It’s funny to me now how all of Lovey fits in the palm of my hand now, all the little strings, held together by a rusty safety pin tangles with pink embroidery floss from a friendship bracelet I abandoned back in the 80s. If you roll out a few of the shreds, you can still see a few faded rattles, balls and safety pins.
I stopped carrying Lovey everywhere when I went to kindergarten. I kept it in my backpack for the first few weeks, until Fire Safety Month, when we had our first fire drill. The thought of having to leave my backpack, (sacred vessel of Lovey), behind as I filed orderly out of the hypothetically burning school was, well, unthinkable. It’s ironic to me now that the mere thought of losing something so precious forever made it possible to separate from it a little. Words to live by.
But I digress.
In My Earliest Memories….
I remember Amanda, who was about 2-and-a-half, climbing into my crib with me. We used to jump up and down in it. Actually, I imagine that she jumped, and I sort of hung on to the bars and bobbed up and down the best I could by bending my knees. I remember feeling the sheet, cool and soft and smooth beneath my bare feet. I LOVED that sheet.
There is a series of snapshots that my mom took around this time period. I am sitting in the grass, wearing only a diaper, trying to pull Lovey the Sheet off the clothesline. As you look through the photos, Amanda the Toddler drags a lawn chair across the yard, stretches up, up, up and unclips it. In the last photo, we’re both sitting in the grass. I do not remember this.
There are photos of us sleeping together in the crib. There is one of Amanda lying on her back, grinning for the camera, and I’m sort of smushed on my side. I do not remember this either.
But I do remember lying in my crib, under that sheet, and staring at my nightlight. If you lie in a dim room and squint a small light, you can see it reflect off your eyelashes and the little hairs on your cheeks. If you gradually relax your facial muscles, it kind of looks like little sparkly beams of light are coming toward you. It’s nice.