First Words – Summer 2022

Are we finally starting to relax? I know I am. I even went to a wedding this summer. To me, summers are all about weddings and family vacations. Back in the day, when school ended, we would pack our kids and their cousins into the car and go on holidays. There were few rules: motels had to have pools and stops for ice cream and McDonalds were essential. The atmosphere was filled with laughter (mostly). Each kid had a bag with their special stuffed animal or blanket, a bag of toys, their bathing suit and a few changes of clothes – that was all the car could handle.

My niece Caitlin always brought along her hair-twirling companion, a flannelette blanket. As Caitlin grew, “Blankie” became smaller and smaller until all that was left was a fragment of flannelette. She eventually forgot about Blankie but, for some reason, I tucked that fragment away.

Fast forward 25 years and I got a call from my sister-in-law: “By any chance do you still have Blankie?” It wasn’t a casual question. I remembered the importance of Blankie in its day and I knew I had it… but where? After a frantic search, I found it, in all its faded beauty. I washed it in Ivory Snow, pressed it and passed it back to Caitlin’s mom, who discreetly sewed it into the hem of her wedding dress a few weeks ago.

Blankie was there to walk the bride down the aisle with her dad. And in a fairy tale ending, Caitlin married her prince while her secret childhood friend shared in the magical moment. And as Caitlin danced the night away, Blankie felt that familiar feeling of being lovingly dragged along the floor like so many years before. Happy summer,