I think, perhaps, I have overdone it a bit with my encouragement of the children’s supernatural outlook on life. I wanted to raise kids that see faeries instead of fireflies, that exclaim on our walks, “Look mama! The trees are dancing with the wind! Do you think they have special tree music?” And I have those things, and am grateful for them.
Both children regularly came outside to say hello to the fairies/fireflies during the summer when they were most prolific. And my son is constantly finding things that he is convinced were left by elves or gnomes, and is a firm believer in the old adage that it is the gnomes that steal one of your socks when it’s laundry day.
When they are having nightmares, they ask for holy water and sage to cleanse their rooms, and like to waft it around themselves, mixing traditional prayers with protection chants and pleas to their guardian angels.
They even have their own little amethyst and rutilated quartz that they cleansed on their own and sleep with under their pillows. Or pillow pets, as it were (commercialism is still alive and well in my house). And my five-year-old daughter knows to use apophyllite to intensify the energy of other crystals to “pick out the best rock” at the metaphysical store.
So I have raised these children with a healthy dose of respect for all religions, a vehement respect for nature and her gifts, and a conglomeration of many different viewpoints that make up our own eclectic beliefs.
But now, however, it seems to have taken on a life of its own and extended into areas I never would have expected. I should have seen this coming. Let me expound…
I spent the better part of the night before last searching for a blanket named Cindy. Yes, you read that right – the blanket’s name is Cindy. How in the world did my daughter decide this is its name? Well, she asked it, of course.
This is a patchwork blanket made by a relative that is somewhat of a comfort object for my kid. Therefore, the fact that Cindy was AWOL at bedtime became a bit of an emergency. Especially since I had several episodes of Ghost Hunters to watch, and there was no hope of that until the children were sleeping. Self-absorbed, remember?
Were there a National Blanket Guard, I would have called them. Were there a Scotland Yard of Covers, I would have sent up smoke signals from the roof of my house. But sadly, the efforts of recovery were left to my partner and I, who are apparently woefully inept at locating magical blankets named Cindy.
We searched high and low, with my little girl trailing behind in a tizzy, declaring an absolute inability to sleep without this item, and her brother watching the whole thing from the couch, rolling his eyes as if to say derisively, “Psh, kids.” Of course, the eye-rolling was done whilst wrapped in his own requisite blanket, so its affect was somewhat diminished.
Having searched the entire house from top to bottom, there was no Cindy to be found. At this point my darling daughter looked at me like I was a complete idiot and asked me, “Mama, why don’t you just call her?”
I admit I was confused. I was unaware Cindy had procured a phone in her absence.
“What do you mean ‘call her’?” I asked this sweet child who was cutting drastically into my DVR time.
She rolled her eyes at me (notice a pattern yet?) and said in her best teenage-girl voice, “Mom, you know! Call her like Aladdin did, and she’ll just float back into my room!”
Now I am faced with a dilemma. Do I tell her this is utter nonsense, ruin the open-mindedness and fantastical nature I have worked so hard to build in her, and settle down peacefully to my TV shows? Or do I call out loud to a blanket named Cindy, and ask it – her, excuse me – to please return to us now?
My partner was no help at all at this point. She simply looked at me, shrugged, and said what she always says when the girl pulls diva-like things such as this.
“I’ve got the boy.”
My poor daughter is in tears at this point, and I am right behind her.
“I can’t sleep without Cindy!” she moans, flinging herself across the bed in her best dramatic display.
I find myself actually hoping against hope that upon my calling out to this blanket, it will, in fact, float through the door, and I can get to the safety of my couch and my remote. So I do it. That’s right – I stand in the middle of the room and call out to Cindy, the wayward blanket, to please come to us and help the child sleep. The child is frantic, watching the doorway with anticipation. I am frantic as well, because I know in my heart of hearts there is no blanket forthcoming, and I don’t know how I’m ever going to calm my daughter enough to get to sleep without bringing all her hard-won supernatural awareness crashing down around us.
After several minutes of paging the missing party, I give up, looking down at my sweet little girl, expecting to see her tear-stained face give way to a full-fledged tantrum. That is not what meets my eyes, however. Instead, I see a half-asleep, dreamy-faced angel, lying underneath the blankie that I crocheted for her last year.
Shocked at this development, I leaned down and told my child in the most sympathetic voice I could muster, “I’m sorry honey. Cindy doesn’t seem to be answering.”
“That’s okay, mama,” she responds drowsily. “She’s probably sleeping. And I’m really tired. Can you turn off the light?”
I look at my partner, who just shrugs again, points at herself, mouths the word "boy", and flips the switch.