The mother’s sister gifted her a pink blanket in a small purple box wrapped tightly in a golden bow. The mother smiled at the pink blanket, tears welling in her eyes. She smiled back, thanked her sister profusely, and kept the blanket on her lap.
The night before her baby was due, the mother sat in the rocking chair in the nursery, hugging the blanket close to her heart, and wept. Her tears soaked into the blanket, but the saltiness of the tears did not make the blanket any less soft. The mother stood up while grasping the blanket, ran her fingertips over the crib, and kept the blanket close to her baby’s heart.
Once the newborn was placed inside the crib, the blanket was lifted over the newborn and covered its tiny body, hugging the newborn as tight as possible. The newborn fussed before falling back asleep. Before long, the newborn began to cry, its tears sliding down its cherub face and absorbing into the blanket. The blanket was removed from the newborn and was left alone in the crib until the newborn stopped crying and was returned to the loving embrace of the blanket.
The child cried frequently about everything. From spilled milk to a splinter garnered from climbing trees, the tears never stopped. The blanket went wherever the child went and soaked up all her tears along the way. It traveled outside, to different houses, to different countries. It covered her when it rained, it substituted as a knee protector on the rough asphalt when she wanted to play outside, and it served as the primary reason why her cries ceased so quickly.
The tween’s grasp on the blanket lessened more and more until the blanket stayed in her room for weeks at a time, sitting atop a bean bag chair that she rarely sat on. But one night, the tween burst through her bedroom door in tears, wailing about her first heartbreak. She threw her phone on the bed and collapsed on the floor. Her parents came in to comfort her, but she promptly sent them out. After a moment, she looked up, saw the blanket on the chair, climbed on top of the chair, and hugged the blanket to her heart.
The teen did not even look at the blanket because she was so busy. Her room was littered with papers and binders. But all that clutter was not enough to mask the sound of her screaming downstairs when she got into college. The days went on as normal until the long summer days tapered down, and on one fateful day, the teen was wading through the moving boxes in her room when her eyes set upon the blanket. She sat in the chair and cradled the blanket in her arms for what seemed like forever while allowing silent tears to slip down her cheeks. Then she laid the blanket on the chair and took her moving boxes with her as she left the room for what seemed like forever. The blanket became faded after years of the sun rising and setting in the window, taking the pinkness out of the blanket and rendering it a sickly beige. Her room collected dust, and dust bunnies frequently had a gathering atop the blanket before her mother came in a vacuumed them off.
The woman, after many years, waddled into her childhood bedroom, her swollen belly appearing in the room before her. She picked up the blanket and pressed it to her heart before she moved it to her belly, smiling and crying as she rubbed the matted fabric between her fingers.
“Thanks for hanging in there, old friend.”