A Mother's Forever-Flexible Love
That's what she calls it.
It was a hand-me-down from one of her older sisters, who enjoyed a few months with it as a toddler, but who never grew attached. But for her? She spent her second and third years of life with this blanket constantly at her side. and it became her "everything" during the dark of night, as she chewed and pulled at it, until her eyes closed to meet her dreams. A few months ago, we had to wash Chewy Blanket, and tuck it away.
The blanket had received so very much love that it became far too full of holes and loose strings for her to sleep with safely.
I had warned her for months, but nothing could quite prepare her for "the" actual moment.
Heartbroken doesn't even begin to describe her emotions when she learned that she could no longer keep Chewy as her safety and security each night.
For a few days, we found some fun "replacement" blankets that we super-soft and snuggly, but nothing compared to "Chewy." Until, one evening, I was folding laundry, and one of my favorite sweaters came through the pile to fold and put back into my closet.
But, something about the sweater just tugged at my mama-heart. There was too close of a resemblance. To one very special little girl's coveted blanket. And, it was pretty undeniable. A little girl's broken heart needed this sweater to piece her back together once again.
The decision was easy.
That night, I told her that I thought I found something that might be very close to what her Chewy. The questions pouring forth from her mind outran her mouth. So, I told her she'd just have to wait and see.
And so, I had her sit on her bed and wait as I brought it to her. Her eyes lit up, and she immediately "tried it on". A sweater about six sizes too big, but an absolutely perfect fit for a broken heart.
Chewy, Edition 2, made its debut. And for the past five months, it has faithfully replaced her original love.
A few weeks ago, I heard one of her sisters yell my name as we were getting ready for bedtime. I stopped what I was doing and ran upstairs at the only to find a huge, gaping hole in my old sweater and a sweet, growing babe drowning in her tears.
She thought I would be upset with her.
She thought I would be so upset that
I would never forgive her for what happened.
She thought she ruined my shirt.
She thought she had lost her replacement.
And she didn't know what to do about it.
Except, I quickly reminded her, it was no longer mine.
It was now hers.
We talked about how a better choice could have been made between her and her sisters in regards to tying it across two beds, but sometimes, accidents happen. And many times, things can be repaired.
I told her she probably couldn't sleep with Chewy #2 that night. It just wasn't safe to have a big hole again. I tried to let her down gently, but she was absolutely crushed.
And, so I ran down to the kitchen and returned to back up to her bedroom, to do what loving any mama would do.
I cut apart the sweater.
And, once more, we created a new sleeping companion.
As I was sitting on her bedroom floor, under the light of the pink lamp above, I couldn't help but feel my heart skip a beat.
This is just the beginning, I thought to myself. I can't even imagine how many times I have already done this for all of our little ones, and will continue to do, for the rest of their lives.
Because, isn't that just the epitome of a mother's love? Giving the shirt from your own back to mend and heal your child's shattered heart? I will never grow too old. For the adjusting.
The repairing. The piecing back together. Because a mother's love? One of the most flexible of all God's blessings on this earth. Stretching in a million different directions. While holding it all together. For the ones you love the most. And the beauty of it all? The one-of-kind type of love this elasticity allows. Circling your children with a love that stretches. Unconditionally. Endlessly. Unequivocally. Through each changing phase and season. Forever more.
And always to come.