I went into my local deli one morning to get coffee and bagel before going to work. The woman who worked behind the counter was almost due to deliver her first baby. She was alone in the store, She looked particularly uncomfortable and I became concerned. I began to suspect that not only weren't the contractions she was describing Braxton-Hicks but that her water had broken already. She wanted to wait for the store owner to come later that morning and keep her scheduled appointment. She seemed so uncomfortable so I told her that I was going home to get my car keys and would take her to the hospital. I suggested she make a phone call to her husband, put a sign on the door and close the store. An hour and a half later she delivered her baby girl.
That weekend, I went away to sew with friends to sew. I had some fabric that reminded me of the colors in huipils from the new mom's country of birth. I fussy cut the large flowers and reset them in simple borders. I made a blanket for a new baby and gave it to the deli owner to give to the mom.
It was odd, and I often wondered why she never thanked me. Hadn't she gotten it? Did she not appreciate it? What was wrong? Then one day a few years later the mom greeted me, with, "You know the blanket you gave
Janelle is her favorite. She takes it everywhere. She sleeps with it at naptime in her daycare. She loves the blanket."
I was thinking about this quilt last week when I walked into the deli for my morning coffee. Janet looked up at me and grinned. " Can you believe it," she said, "she is five years old today and she still plays with the blanket."
My own lovie was made of a thin white wool with a sunny yellow satin binding. I loved running my fingers over its cold smoothness. As a child I was prone to strep, and my throat felt like sandpaper when I swallowed. My feverish dreams were always about finding my way back to some significant place. I was convinced that the texture of the riibbon was magical and when I found it in my sleep, the fever would break.
Janelle's blanket doesn't have a satin binding but I think it is magical nonetheless.