Remember Linus, the kid from The Peanuts who carried his blue blanket with him everywhere? As a kid, I remember watching him and thinking, “Dude. That’s weird.” As a mom, I look at him and think, “Dude, give me that blanket NOW so I can wash it. That’s just nasty. What the hell were you doing with it anyway??”
A couple Christmases ago, I had grand intentions of making my granddaughter, whom we affectionately call “KK,” a special blanket. She was obsessed with kittens at that time, so I purchased a piece of flannel-y type material that was covered with frolicking kittens on a pink background. I bought white furry material to make a super soft backing for it.
Shockingly, (not so much if you really know me), I never got around to making said blanket. And both pieces of fabric sat in my craft basket in the corner of my apartment. One weekend post-Christmas, my granddaughter discovered the basket. She latched onto the pink kitten material and has never let go. Fast forward two years and it has become an essential piece of her existence. It even has a name: “Bae.” No idea how she came up with that but it is her special friend. No bedtime is complete without Bae. No car ride can even be attempted without Bae’s comforting presence.
Sometimes, in her more vulnerable, tired moments, when she stares off in space, her eyes focused on nothing in particular, I watch her. She has a very specific corner that the absently rubs between two fingers. She will find that exact corner every time.
As you can imagine, that thing gets filthy. I’m pretty sure it has stood up and walked around the house once or twice on its own. And just try sneaking it off to the washer for a quick cycle. KK’s spidey sense picks up on its absence almost immediately. Thank goodness it dries quickly.
When Bae finally arrives out of the dryer, warm and clean and smelling delicious, KK snuggles, giggles and hugs Bae and I swear, I just swear that I can almost hear Bae sigh with happiness. Bae is so loved and she loves unconditionally in return.
Wouldn’t you love it if social convention wouldn’t judge you when you bring your own version of Bae with you everywhere? Hidden discreetly in your purse. A small square tucked into your wallet. When no one sees you, when you’re tired, vulnerable, feeling meh and lonely–just sticking your hand in your purse and quietly stroking it’s edge. And knowing, simply knowing, that she’s got your back and no matter what’s going on “out there,” with her, you can get through the next few minutes. Days. Years.
I am facing a major anniversary. In a few days, I will have been single for five years. In a few months, I will have been divorced for five years. Someone once told me it takes five full years to truly get over a divorce.
I think I have been clinging to that number for some unknown reason, as if a lifeline to happiness. But it’s not.
It’s a journey, not a destination. I’ve heard it. I’ve repeated it. So often, in fact, that one would think it would have sunk in by now. It has. Mostly. Somewhat.
A few weeks ago, I was faced with the very real possibility of having to face my ex’s new love and meeting someone else more important in his life than I am afraid I ever was and know I never will be again. I am not ashamed to say it threw me for a bit of a tail spin.
This journey…it never promises to be easy, right? I forget that sometimes. I want to let it go, but I just can’t. Or won’t.
If you start singing right now, know that I’m singing with you. I just can’t do it. Someone recently said “We’re all adults. It’s time to move on.” Well guess what? You may have moved on fine and dandy. That’s wonderful that your journey was so swift and seemingly uneventful.
But mine wasn’t. Isn’t. And my journey is just that. My own.
Am I jealous that he has found someone who seems to truly make him happy? Boy howdy, am I. Am I sad that it’s not me? Not so much. Maybe. just that one, tiny thread.
I guess I want a Bae. Just not the old one. But I’m afraid to completely let go of the old one, for fear I will have nothing left to hold on to: no anger, no resentment, no fear, no jealousy, no hurt. No excuses.
I think it’s time for a new Bae.