Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blanket Security

     Let me introduce you to LINUS VAN PELT.
For those of you born in the 90s onwards, Linus van Pelt is a character in the Peanuts comic strip created in 1950 by the late Charles M. Schulz.

     He, along with the other well-known children in the series, Charlie Brown, Sally Brown,  Lucy van Pelt, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty, Rerun, Pigpen, and Charlie Brown's dog Snoopy, made up the cast of the popular comic strip that appeared until February 13, 2000, a day after Mr. Schulz' death.(1)
     Of all the Peanuts cast of characters, he is my favorite because of our similarities, primarily in growing up with a security blanket.

     My mom and my aunts and uncles can attest to how I loved my flannel security blankets (my baby blankets, 1 pink and blue with diamond patterns, and 1 yellow with a green, blue and white middle stripe :D). I just referred to them as kumot (pronounced "coo-mot"; Tagalog word for blanket). I would have it with me constantly. It was my favorite plaything because to my young mind, it could morph into a gazillion shapes and forms.

     Among its favorite uses, it was my first pick for a bedtime companion. At night I would do this little ritual where I would fold the blanket up and roll it, pretty much like a pinwheel cookie and it became my version of a plush or stuffed toy. It had this smooth, comforting, warm feel to them that made bedtime so much more pleasant. It felt I was playing until sleep finally took hold.     

     An anecdote from my mom about those blankets was that they "mysteriously" found its way into luggage when we were going on out of town trips, despite having been purposely left it in the closets. Now, we can't have that, can we? I always made sure no one, not even my favorite blanket, got left behind. Hehehe.

     I felt bad growing up at some point because my aunts and uncles ganged up on me to "malign" and scare me into giving up my favorite blankets. Imagine??? They just don't know my blankets and what we've been through! Hehehe. Well, my mom, giving in to their advise, either gave away or (I hope not!) threw away or burned the blankets one day because despite a fervent search, they mysteriously just disappeared! They did not even get to be so threadbare beyond recognition! :-(  How could they when an aunt of mine still held on to her childhood pillow! At that time, I felt like screaming, "Well! My kumot is better than your crummy pillow! Ha!"  (but of course, I did not have the heart to shout that to my aunt. ♥)

     But, since my blankets were no more, there was nothing I could do. I just had to trudge on through life without them. To my non-blanket wielding relatives (hehehe), this was a rite of passage. I had to learn that life goes on in the face of a loss of a stable force in life. I had to learn to make do. I had to adapt.

     I will just say though that I think I turned out pretty much okay after my beloved blankets have gone. Sometimes I wonder though if I'd be the same person I have become if my blankets were still here. Maybe they'd be framed somewhere in the house, pretty much like a baby picture would.

     There are other similarities between Linus and myself but I will reserve that for another post. Meanwhile I leave you with the philosopher Linus' words of wisdom:

©CherWriter 2010.12.08

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