Before he was born, my aunt knit Ryan a very sweet baby blue blanket. When I brought it home, I immediately put it in his diaper bag. This was the blanket Ryan would be brought home from the hospital in.
Until today, it has remained in the bag. I kept his diaper/hospital bag packed. I've only removed his "coming home" outfits because one of them he wore at the hospital and was turned into a bear. The other outfit he wore to his cremation. A sleeper his dad bought for him. He went out for dog food one night, and returned with a sleeper. It's one of my happiest imaginings. Rich out shopping for that sleeper on his own.
But the blanket stayed in the bag. Call it shock. Or absent-mindedness. Whatever it might be, I never got to wrap Ryan in that blanket.
It is his.
But never really got to be his at the same time.
The nurses wrapped him in a nice green knit blanket of their own. And it never dawned on me until a couple of days ago, that I never asked for it. That I don't even know what happened to it. Maybe it's the blanket they always use for babies like Ryan. Or maybe it got to go home with some other baby. I don't know. And I'll never know.
But the thought popped into my head the other day and it made me want to go into the closet and look at the blanket again. After months in the bag it is so full of that baby powder, fresh, baby smell. It brought a little ache to my heart to hold it again.
So now I have this pretty blue blanket, back in the diaper bag in Ryan's closet, waiting for the chance to cuddle and bring comfort to another little one. I hope that some day it'll be used by one of Ryan's siblings. But it will always be his.