I was watching the news last night and felt myself drifting off to sleep. I was excited that I might be able to sleep tonight for the first time in weeks. I shut off the tv, set my alarm on my phone, and turned over in bed. Within fifteen minutes of waiting for sleep to overcome me, I realized I was wrong. The small bout of tiredness was all a ruse. I re-positioned my pillows, turned over to my other side, and tried not to think about the million things I need to do at work tomorrow. Did I remember to email Sadie the agenda for the meeting on Thursday? Did Jack plug in those financials I needed for the presentation? I hoped I wasn’t forgetting anything. Stop, I told myself. I let out a deep breath and thought about the snow falling outside. The two large trees in the front yard would be covered in snow, and the neighborhood would look like a winter wonderland tomorrow morning.
“It looks like a Christmas card,” my Aunt Shelly would tell me. She loved the snow. It always gave us a good excuse to make hot chocolate, bake cookies, and watch old movies by the fireplace. Oh, how I miss my Aunt Shelly. She was the best and always made me feel special. Anytime I was having a bad day because someone said something about my parents, or a group of kids called me names and chased me home from school, Aunt Shelly could somehow make all of those feelings of sadness and anxiety go away – even if only for a few hours. I remember sitting on the couch, snuggled in that soft blanket with the birds on it, watching actresses such as Grace Kelly or Ingrid Bergman on the television screen, and wishing I could be them when I grew up. They were all beautiful, smart, funny, and everyone liked them. My Aunt Shelly would tell me I was perfect just the way I was. Her words were always positive and a nice change from the words I was used to hearing about myself.
I turned on the light on the nightstand and walked to the linen closet in the hallway. Buried underneath some other blankets, I found the blanket with the birds on it. I rescued it from the blanket prison and took it back to my room. I gently lay it on top of my comforter and shut off the light. I got back into the warm bed and grabbed the blanket as tight as I could. It smelled more like an old bounce sheet than cookies, but the soft cotton polyester blend felt calming against my skin. Within a few minutes, I felt myself drifting off to sleep.