Samuel J. Tanner 4 minute read

My Blankie and Me

I still have a blankie. I admit it.

I've had my green blankie since I was a teenager. It is ragged and riddled with holes. Katie is horrified by my blankie.

"Keep it on your side of the bed," she often says with revulsion.

Gladly. I love my blankie. I wrap it around my head and inhale deeply. It calms me. There's worse ways to dispel anxiety. Blankie's are probably healthier for the body than Oxycontin or booze, right?

I've had previous blankies. As an infant, I was obsessed with my baby blanket. I chewed on it incessently. Eventually, there were so many holes in it that my mother threw it away. She was worried I'd choke myself with the thing. Mom gave me a replacement blankie. It was also green. Eventually, that blanket gave out as well. The green blanket I have now is the replacement of its replacement. The thing has lived a full life, to be sure. You'd have to pry the blanket from my cold, dead hands if you wanted to get it. I love the thing.

My love of blankets has been handed down to my sons. Solomon has three blankies. He sleeps with them at night. They soothe him when he's angry. Samson's love of his two blankets is even more fanatic. Samson, much like his father, is especially fixated on his green blankie. He's had it since he was a baby. Samson is almost three now and he chews on it, sucks on it, wraps it around his head, etc.

Katie reminds Samson each morning that we need to brush his teeth.

"We need to clean the blankie fuzz out?" Samson asks.

"Yes," she tells him.

I'm sad to say that Samson's blanket might be in its final days. The thing, more so than my ancient blanket, is falling apart. It's unraveling faster than our national unity. Zing.

"Why is my blankie broken?" Samson asked me the other day.

"Because you ate it," I told him.

Samson stared at me blankly.

Katie washed Samson's blankets the other day, because he demanded that she do so. Then, irrationally, Samson whined for two hours.

"I want my blankies!" he shouted.

"I'm washing them," Katie reminded him. "Because you told me to."

Samson howled with rage.

Incidentally, he does that often these days. Howl with rage. It's not easy being two. It's not easy being alive, for that matter.

The washing of Samson's blankie proved somewhat tragic. Pieces of Samson's blanket littered our dryer. His green blankie barely remained stitched together. Samson's lower lip got big when he saw the remains of his blankie.

"We're going to have to throw that away soon," I told him. His eyes got wide.

"Okay," Samson said with false confidence.

I ordered a new blanket for Samson on Amazon that night. It was the same green blanket that he's spent the last three years devouring. I ordered a blankie for Solomon too. You can't buy something for one of our boys without buying it for the other. They are fiercely jealous in this way. Talk about expensive.

Anyway, Samson's replacement blanket arrived. I may not be qualified to mentor Samson in all walks of his life, but I certainly feel confident that I can guide him through the process of replacing a much loved blankie. I have experience in this area, to be sure.

I should probably look into getting a new blanket myself, mostly so that Katie won't leave me. It must be hard for her to sleep next to my ratty blankie each night, afraid that its tendrils might sneak over to her side of the bed. It's hard to give up things from our childhood. Catcher in the Rye is all about that. Move from innocence to experience? Most of us would rather cling to the comfortable things of our past than move on to the unknowable future. But, at the end of the day, we really don't have much choice. Time keeps being time and we keep changing. Unraveling, even. What a trip.

I'm 38 today. Wild.