It starts when we’re kids, the need to hang on to a doll or blanket or stuffed animal for security at bedtime or when we were scared, hurt, or need a little soothing. I remember taking 15 minutes to get my bed organized and settled before climbing in. I’m not sure if it was because I was that orderly as a child or if it was a bedtime stall technique. Probably stall technique.

My kids had security blankets but gave them up fairly early. Jason was forced to because his all but disintegrated. Some of the grandkids have blankets, some stuffed animals. Mollie Jane sleeps with her dolls and books and leaves only a small space for herself in bed. Vivian has become so attached to the pink and white puppy our friends Debbie and MItch gave her, back up reinforcement puppies had to be hunted down on Ebay.

The need for comfortable and secure evolves and transfers from blankets and teddy bears as we grow up. Ask anyone and they can name an old sweatshirt, pair of shoes or nightgown they refuse to part with. Normally these things aren’t worn in public. However, I dashed to the store once when I ran out of milk and looked down when I dropped some change in the checkout line to discover I had on my furry house shoes. This was years before people wore pajama bottoms to Walmart.

There is something to familiar, and broken-in that calms even the most frazzled. Instead of reaching for a blankie at the end of the day, as adults we put on our old, soft, ugly sweatpants and socks and curl up on a favorite chair. Just like Vivian’s pink puppy, that makes everything better.

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