I have a new blankie.
As a child, I was never encumbered by an object I associated with thumb-sucking comfort. I seemed, as my husband later described it, to have sprung full blown from the forehead of Zeus. I never sucked my thumb, either; as a very verbal child, I just talked people to distraction, which eventually put me to sleep, too. Maybe it's my lack of thumb-sucking that keeps me now from being a gum chewer. No oral fixations for me; can't stand the stuff.
However, a lot of kids have what starts out as a blanket they drag around to facilitate the pleasure of thumb-sucking. As essential as air and food, this blanket eventually becomes a pathetic little rag embarrassing to parents and siblings, but everyone is programmed to stop what they're doing and find the blankie when it goes missing. Some children have their blankie until long after they start school, and it's a huge trauma to be apart from it for any length of time.
My new blankie isn't just a rectangle I throw over myself. It has sleeves; I wear it like a surgeon's gown and wrap it around the back. The sleeves are loose, allowing me to read a book and still keep my hands warm. It's acrylic, a manmade fiber, the warmest, softest substance ever to come from a chemistry lab. My beautiful new blankie also has extra fabric at the top to bundle around and keep my neck and the tops of my shoulders warm. This is important because I sleep sitting up. It has a kangaroo pocket in the front, and the hem is attached only at the seams, leaving a little pocket there for feet. Yes, it's brilliantly designed, and adding to my pleasure is the fact that it's my favorite burgundy color.
While I am not obsessive about my blankie, I don't need to go back and touch it during the day for reassurance that I'm still alive. I'm okay with delayed gratification, but I find more and more it is the pleasure I look forward to at the end of the day, the arms of comfort, the assurance of sleep. I always smile when I think about my blankie.
Yesterday I checked the ten-day forecast on the weather channel website, and starting this week we are going to have freezing temperatures at night. I paid an inordinate amount of money for my new blankie, but it was a small price to pay for the peace and comfort I'm feeling now, and the confidence I expect to feel over the next few months while the storms rampage and the winds threaten and the frost and snow attempt to paralyze me. Whatever the winter brings, I'm going to be just fine, wrapped in my burgundy acrylic blankie with sleeves.