I think I was around five years old when I did it. Then it grew over the years.
It was when I sensed in my five year old heart that my parents were deciding when they should take my lovey away. My grandmother had made me a quilt from cut up dresses she used to wear, then stitched them together into the silkiest patchwork and I would carry that blanket with me everywhere, calmly rubbing the soft slippery rayon or something like it, between my thumb and fingers. I would never let them take it from me. They couldn’t take something that I loved with my whole child heart and had to have. For them it was just a blankey that I should outgrow. To me it was my comfort, hand stitched by my Grandmother which she put some type of magic into, that would help me when I needed help. It never left me alone.
Those “had to have” items and beliefs began a pile of “little things” that I needed to give me the same types of comfort, help, calm, peace, resilience that I needed when life became difficult. I became self appointed guardian of my “littles.” A challenge I never realized would be so difficult when trying to share them as I grew up!
Fast forward a half century later. People think I am odd to stay curious at my age and seek new learning. But to me learning and staying curious is delicious. Recently I stumbled upon a program that curiously mentioned some of my “littles,” that have become more in the psychological arena as new. Not new to me, but new to psychology.
I secretly checked it out.
I was accepted into a master’s program…
and a surprising journey of discovery that validated many of my “littles” as “bigs.” Proof from data taken from neuro-brain imaging, collective psychological studies on resilience, desperate regulatory emotional processes, and massive coping questions trying to come up with strategies for horrible societal outcomes because our human race is struggling emotionally and spiritually, not just mentally. My self-appointment of little things to help soothe, calm, bring joy, I have gathered my entire life have come up in this program as strategies that provide peace, help save, provide health benefits, and even help flourish.
I’m still hearing those intellectual whispers to get rid of those precious littles and weaken their credibility because they are so “little.” What power could they possibly possess to bank on when are so puny. We are looking for BIG fixes.
But I found validation with data to prove. As guardian of the “littles” I stand proud and don’t give up.
Little advice for now: Let your child keep their lovey, for as long as they need. We all need something to hold to that makes us feel safe and not alone. I still have mine on my bed even today…the magic lives on.