I saw a photo yesterday that was of a little girl hugging the crap out of her teddy bear. It brought a smile to my face. It made me think about the things in our life that make us feel secure. When you are little it might be a blanket, or special toy. As you get older those security features might evolve and change, yet maybe they all have the same emotional connection for us. We just want to feel safe. Sometimes that happens with something that constantly reminds us of a specific smell or touch.
I remember a babysitter made me a pillow and blanket for when I was a baby. Somehow many years later (after never using the blanket or pillow) it was the pillow that I slept with each night. No one was to ever get between me and my pillow. It was what allowed me to feel cozy and go to sleep at night. It is funny to me that we often negatively call these items in our lives “security blankets.” For me, it was probably one of the constant things in my life. My sister and I shared a room, and since she was older, she often would stay up later than my bedtime. I would drape this small, thin pillow over my eyes and cover my ears so I could go to sleep at night, while she finished her homework.
The funny part? I remember my mom telling me later that her way to ween me off the pillow was to put it into the washing machine and hope that it would not make it through the wash. She was right. I was devastated. I later found a new pillow to take its place. The habit stuck with me and later I found a regular thin pillow and continued to sleep this way through boarding high school and college dorm life.
It was not until Chris and I moved in together that I broke the habit. Maybe I had a new security blanket sleeping right next to me. It was also a new concept for me to have a home where I did not have to block out the noise or the light each night. I know I will think differently about my future kid and their desire to have a security blanket. Maybe we need them for a given time or reason, and maybe over time those items of security evolve and change, but they make us feel safe, and allow us to relax and get the rest we need.
Hug your security blanket today, be it human or pillow.