One Sunday afternoon, my close friend and neighbor was visiting for our usual visit with a cup of tea and the special gluten free cookies that she loves to eat. As we sat on the sofa chatting about this and that, Oscar wandered into the living room, dragging the ball and string with the piece of fabric trailing along at the edge of it. He set it down at my feet. We both laughed - my friend and me. I explained about the history of the toy, and told her how he loves to play with it. "Ah!" she sighed. "It's his blankie," she said. No one understands small children better than this friend of mine. In fact, her work is with young toddlers - the most challenging and rewarding job of all! And, if there is one thing she understands, it's that a young toddler needs her blankie - for comfort, confidence, and an all round feeling of well-being. Just as Oscar's first human mother had understood. He would need his blankie to ease his transition when coming to his new home.
This morning, I slept in late - all the way to 5:30 a.m. As I lay there under the warm comforter, fast asleep, through my dreams came the sound of a maraca. I felt a soft tap on the tip of my shoulder, that was exposed outside of the covers. When I opened my eyes, Oscar was sitting up straight, looking directly at me. He was waiting. I looked down at his feet, and there lay the ball, soft fabric dangling to the side at the end of the string. I smiled at him. "You brought me your blankie," I whispered so as not to wake Life Partner. "Come on then," I continued, as I rose up, slipped on my shoes and cardigan to greet the cold morning. I shoved the ball into my pocket, and wandered up to my study to start the coffee. As I walked up the stairs, the gentle sound of a maraca beckoned Oscar up with me. He, who usually runs and gambols about the house like an energetic young toddler, pitter-pattered up each stair next to me, quietly and seriously keeping a close watch on the pocket in my pants that contained his blankie.