Four tiny blanket sized

December 14, 2010, 3:38 PM. Cuddling in the native animal blanket.

Our down quilts have made sleeping a sweaty matter. Jared and I wake from discomfort. Worse, Beren could kick his blanket off, and then get cold and wake up. Being that sleeping through the night is now status quo, by any means necessary shall it remain status quo.

"Light weight blanket for Beren" went on the shopping list. In the meantime, we've piled our beds with thin blankets and procrastinated on shopping.

Local box stores or the internet are our options. Neither seemed a good way to spend a sunny afternoon. "You can find anything you want..." except you can't. And, it costs time and money. Double time even - the time to shop and the time to earn the money to shop.

Then, Beren came down with the stomach bug that's going around. Of that, Jared asked, "Isn't something always going around?" True, but it's more true when it's true. It started with a runny nose, then puking (once with Jared, and then once on himself, me, his bed, and his sandbox bucket - thanks, Jared, for the bucket). He seemed to recover quickly the next day.

A night or so later, Beren woke, and he whimpered and cried. I crept into his room. "Beren? Are you thirsty? Do you have to pee? Are you cold?" "No, no." He cried on. I struggled with Beren's three layers of tangled blankets - a queen sized sheet, a threadbare blanket from my childhood, and a hand-me-down flannel sheet. I was getting cold myself. The queen sized sheet was the most frustrating. I could tell by it's cool feeling on my flailing legs and arms.

I murmured comforting words and inquired more of him, but he just cried. He didn't want to be touched. Finally, I said, "Beren, I really want to help you, but I really want to go to sleep, too. Can you tell me what is going on?"

Either enough time had passed, or I said the right thing..."My belly hurts. What will make it go away?" I had no answer. I searched my memory for what my mother had said to me when I had a bellyache as a child. I couldn't remember. "It really hurts, huh?" We drifted back to sleep. In the morning I woke in my own bed.

The day was cold, rainy. Wednesday. Jared's 'work' day. My day to care for Beren who was a sick, but spirited kid. I was slightly under rested mother, determined to make the day pass smoothly. Activities, meaningful activities are essential.

A set of Beren's receiving blankets were bound for a clothing give-away bin. [Why are there so many?] I'd always wanted to make a big blanket from them. A sick day at home would be the day. Beren choose the thread colors and helped me wind the bobbin. He giggled as he held the sewing machine's clutch, which spun under his little hand.

Four tiny blankets became one big one. Because the individual blankets had curving corners, they didn't meet in the very center. I cut a bear face from an infant sized onesie, and used it as a patch. Jared exclaimed as I held it up, "Nice!" It smelled like our damp, old house, so I washed it. I folded the queen sized sheet on Beren's bed and put it away.

"I'm putting your new blanket on your bed, Beren," I said. "No, it's a carpet, Momma," he answered.We hung it from his bunk bed like a curtain.

After Jared put Beren to sleep that night, I covered Beren with his carpet blanket.

December 14, 2010, 4:49 PM. One hour later. Another blanket for Beren, another shirt for me. Mysterious. Soggy diaper? Hardly looks like we moved, and we really didn't for quite some time, maybe 3 months. In the four years that have passed since Jared took this picture, Beren went from  one tiny blanket sized to four tiny blankets all sewn together sized.