Charles Shultz’ Linus with his blanket and thumb in mouth. That’s the classical picture that comes to mind when something talks about their child’s security blanket.
But wait. It isn’t just security blankets for toddlers, there are all kinds of security blankets for every age, no matter what gender.
My definition of a Security Blanket:
A physical item that brings comfort and soothing to its owner.
Now I know I could get quite existential with an all-encompassing definition, but for my purposes today, I’m going to KISS it (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart) and remain within a narrower framework.
So start naming your twenty-something/thirty-something/forty-something/you get the idea–Security Blankets. (Hint, for the two teenagers who visited yesterday it was their cell phones.)
Here’s a “short” list (in no particular order) of Security Blankets that maybe you had forgotten about, or haven’t realized their importance to you:
- ball cap
- car (okay, so maybe a little larger than a carry around item)
- yes, blanket
- coffee mug
- cork screw
- ice cream dish
- gardening tool
- key chain
- and of course, comfort foods
Whatever we become attached to that brings us a sense of routine, belonging, status quo, etc. becomes our adult version of our child’s stuffed animal or much-loved blanket. Without realizing it, we invest a lot of who we are into our selected item. “I like this old sweater–it says ME.” “I know it’s bent, but I’ve had it forever.” “I always use that mug, every morning. I don’t think it would be the same without that mug.” “I hear Grandma humming every time I fill that dish with olives.”
Do we like to give up our security blankets? Think about this. How do folks feel when their spouse/partner decides to clean the closet without saving their beloved items? It is the same way with children. In their own time and in their own way they will gradually or suddenly leave their beloved security blanket at home. Years can go by with the child growing and branching out into the wider universe, but when that old security blanket is re-discovered, there is a moment of MELTING. Of the old sense of belonging and feeling safe and the world is RIGHT AGAIN.
Do not diminish the importance of security blankets. No matter the age or season, we all need a sense of comfort. In time, we will out-grow and change our needs, but there will always be something that represents the innocent world that gave us TRUST, SECURITY and BELONGING.
What’s your security blanket?
Be gentle with yourself and your children.