There Might Be a Story There

There might be a story there.

Have you ever witnessed a parent who forbid their child to do something that yourself wouldn’t think twice about letting your own child do? You find yourself wondering why that parent is being so strict.

There might be a story there.

I consider myself a laid-back parent as to what I let my children do. I want them to experience life, take risks and feel free and unrestricted to a certain extent. There is one thing however that I do not let my children do.

It’s because there is a story there.

When I was in 3rd grade, there was a boy in my class that I was good friends with. We sat next to each other and would giggle and laugh during our lessons. He was part of our group that played tag at recess. He was sweet and nice to all of the girls.

One day he didn’t show up for school.

The teacher sat us all down and explained that he had died.

She told us that the boy had been eating a hard candy called Lemon Drops. He had tilted his head back and tossed one in the air in the attempt to catch it. He did catch it but it got stuck in his windpipe. His Mom was sitting right next to him and witnessed this. She was a nurse and immediately began doing the Heimlich maneuver and other things to dislodge the Lemon Drop. She did not succeed.

Two girls and I sang at his funeral. It was the first funeral I ever attended. It was the first death I ever experienced. It was something very confusing to me and I remember holding out hope that he would come back. I didn’t understand the finality of it all.

That story has stayed with me forever.

It became even more profound when I had children of my own.

People have offered my children pieces of hard candy and I have politely declined on their behalf. My children have asked for hard candy and I have told them no. I go through their Halloween bags every year and remove it.

I do this because there is a story there.

 

Don't worry, my kids still get plenty of sweets!

Don’t worry, my kids still get plenty of sweets!

The Blanket Boy

None of my three children ever got attached to a blanket as a baby. I was seriously disappointed about this.

I don’t think there is anything cuter than a toddler dragging around a faded, ripped up blanket. Something about it just strikes up innocence and sweetness. But like I said, I never had one of these children.

Believe me, I tried. We had a lot of baby blankets….thin, thick, fuzzy, shiny, super soft, nubby, and all kinds of different patterns and characters. As we rocked and snuggled I always draped a blanket on them. When I put them in their cribs they all had a blanket laid on them. None of the kids were disgusted with blankets; they just didn’t want to drag them around.

I thought I had a chance with my youngest son, Cesar. When he woke up in the morning and from naps he would grab his blanket and request to bring it downstairs with him. My body felt giddy at the prospect of having a “Blanket Baby.” I dreamed of the fun challenges this would bring. I know mothers with blanket babies have a hard time getting it washed and there’s always the challenge of replacing the “irreplaceable” blanket that has been lost. My excitement in the possibility of having a “blanket fiend” was short-lived though. Cesar never carried it around. He merely brought it downstairs and never looked at it again. Months ago he even quit requesting to bring blankets downstairs.

I have made peace with this, thanks to my 5 year old son, Bency. Much to my surprise he has come to love blankets. He is actually kind of obsessed with them. Thankfully, he doesn’t want to drag them around and we didn’t have to send one to Kindergarten with him but he does like a blanket wrapped around him when he is sitting watching television. He also requested 3 blankets on his bed this fall as the nights began to get colder.

I was happy to oblige my son with three blankets and as I pulled them out of the chest I told him the story of each blanket.

The first blanket was made by my mom almost 30 years ago. When I was 7 years old I was in a sledding accident and ended up in the hospital for eight days with internal injuries. While I lay in my hospital bed my mom sat by my side and made me this quilt. I loved this quilt and always used it on my bed or to wrap up in when I watched television. I took it with me when I moved out on my own and with its age and several washings it began to tear and get faded. I requested my mom to repair it several times.

The blanket my mom made me when I was 7 years old

She did repair my blanket but she also made me a new quilt. This one was equally loved even though I received it in my 20’s. This one now gets added to my daughter’s bed every Fall.

The second blanket my mom made me that now gets added to my daughter’s bed every fall

The second two blankets I added to my son’s bed, share the same story. They were crocheted by my Great-Grandma Palma on my father’s side. She was Norwegian, very creative and always busy. She made these for my parents in the 1970’s. I remember they always draped over our olive green sofa when I was little. When I moved out of my parent’s house they were passed down to me.

the blankets my Great-Grandma Palma crocheted

When I finished telling the stories of the blankets to my son; he looked at me very earnestly and said, “Mom, please don’t ever pass these blankets down. I want to keep them forever.”

I told him that we would keep them forever.

Little did he realize, I was in fact passing them down to him at this moment as I placed the blankets on his bed.

He is my blanket boy.