He is the embodiment of security for my youngest son. A tangible representation of faithfulness, gentleness, support, and love. I do not know how an inanimate object takes on such soulful qualities.
I like to think my son already has those qualities inside of him, which is how he is able to attach them to his beloved blanket. The blanket’s name is “Ghee”, and we don’t quite know how he acquired it, nor how he came to hold all that he does for my son.
One of my friends gave us this once blue (but now grey) cable-knit gift when my son was just a baby. I could swear Ghee was his favorite of all the blankets, but I thought that must be my imagination, the dream of someone who sang to her teddy bear when she was little, wishing that just one of her children would develop a fondness for a security item.
So after one of Ghee’s washings, back in the closet he went while my son developed attachments to the flannel blankets in abundant supply, always lying around handy.
But then one day my son was old enough to point to what he wanted. And when he saw Ghee on the closet shelf he communicated his desire clearly. As the saying goes when telling love stories…the rest is history.
Just recently, my son offered me a gesture of tenderness and love beyond what I ever thought I would receive. Recognizing this gesture required both the anthropologist in me, studying my son’s unique and individual culture, as well as the treasure-hunter in me, always on the look out for glimpses of unearned love.
We had just snuggled into my son’s bottom bunk after stories and one final trip to the bathroom. Ghee was there, as he always is. My son burrowed in closely to me as he always does, hugging his precious Ghee.
Then he pulled away a bit, wiggled Ghee out from underneath the covers and gently but firmly wadded him up against my neck right underneath my chin.
I recognized this offering right away and tried to open my heart as wide as I could to catch all the intimacy and purity of love held by this moment.
I have seen my son do this, night after night after night for as long as I can remember. He holds Ghee in this same spot whenever he is tired and ready for bed, sad and wanting to be comforted, lonely and wanting company, happy and glad to be home.
This spot, tucked under my son’s chin and soothing against the skin on his throat, is where Ghee feels the best to my son. That spot somehow transfers the magical wonders of Ghee the most clearly, the most effectively, and in the best possible way.
And now, with this one gesture, he was offering his most precious of moments to me. He was sharing. He wanted me to experience this wonderful feeling, too. I felt so honored, humbled, loved. Touched by the sacred, ceremonial beauty held out by a four-year-old and his treasured companion.