The blanket: a work of love in wool

Dear Kath,

Today Bram said thank you for that lovely blanket you made for him as a gift before he was born. He said thank you because, for the first time, he really appreciated what he had been given.

It happened like this: I wandered into my eldest son’s room this evening to continue a desultry conversation before he settled down. I saw his crocheted blanket on the floor and picked it up. I said convesationally: “Did you know that this blanket is handmade”. “Really?” He asked surprised. “Yes” I said. “It was hand crocheted for you by a lady called Kath.” I threw it onto the bed. He took it and with shining eyes began to wrap himself in it, looking at it this way and thatwith curiosity and pleasuer as if he had just unwrapped it for the first time – which I suppose in a way he had. “Yes, but how did she do itThese stitches!? It is so big, so very big. It must be very difficult. ”

I laughed. “The stitching isn’t difficult, but it would have taken a long time to do. But she wanted to do it. She made it even before you were born and came up on the train to give it to us, for you.

He was suggled right inside it now. “Who’s Kath?” he asked.

“When me and Dad were so young,” I said, “And just married, and did not have much, and were struggling to make our way in the world living in Sheffield, Kath and Ben took us under their wing and were our friends. They were the same age as Granny and Grandpa are now I reckon. But they were fun and we had some good times. Ben made wine . . . ” and I stopped as I remembered us drinking so much of it that we could not walk home!

Is that where Dad got the idea of making home made wine himself?” asked Bram pulling me back into the present.
“Yes! I guess it was influential.” I laughed again, remembering.

And that was it. I left a boy contented and secure snuggled in a bundle of memories. And for the first time he really appreciated his blanket for what it is: a work of love from a good friend he does not know and has not met. He understood the value of it and was so pleased. What was just a blanket has become a treasure, a web of love to keep out the cold and the loneliness – and I could see that he had ‘got it’. I wanted to to tell you becuase more than any thing that is the best thanks you could get from my lovely young son. And it is the thanks I want to share.

And one day,, I too will make a blanket to wrap a young child up with love.