Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Quilt.

The windows are open and Andrew and I are snuggled under the quilt I won in the third grade. Its moments like these when I realize that my sometimes bad habit of wanting to keep anything with sentimental value is totally acceptable. Many times, things are just things. Material possessions really don't mean much and are never promised to last more than a life time. My quilt, is not one of these things. It has been spread out across my bed for a few days now. Andrew brought it out from the hall closet the night we opened all the windows in our house. The quilt, although special, doesn't remain out all the time. Maybe that's the magnificence of it. I can almost forget I even own it, and then I see it spread out across my bed and its like we have never been apart. The quilt looks at me and smiles in its obscure and mismatched blocks of fabric, some pieces looking nautical and others looking like Christmas wrapping paper. It seems to shout out that fall has arrived. That all the memories I have of fall as little girl are just around the corner.

The quilt curls and folds around my very pregnant belly as I climb in bed, and lets me soak in the fact that this fall will be more different and special than any other. That my memories of fall will grow to not only be remembering my own cold cheeks from playing in the fall leaves, but kissing my baby's pink cheeks as he or she smiles up at me in new life wonder. That soon I will take the place of the mother who bakes all winter to keep the house warm with yummy smells and pleasant memories. Andrew slides into the quilt beside me, giving me a boyish smile that I love. And being the man he is, he already knows that before we sleep I will want to tell him the story of how I came to own the quilt. He almost realizes that as he now has the right as my husband to take out the quilt and cuddle with it too, he has to know the history to join in such a special bond.

"I still can't believe I won this quilt," I say with a little giggle and a half smile that makes me look more like I did the day I won it. 

"I know," says Andrew. Letting me do most of the talking.

I start in proudly, "Everyone in my third grade class got to help put it together. The reading teacher in our elementary some how came across the top of a quilt all finished but no backing on it."

So each one of us, with little fingers and little pieces of string tied the sheets together, making a warm and cuddly quilt. Martha, the reading teacher, then proudly wrote along the side in a big sharpie marker, "Tied by the third grade 1995-1996." She then told us there would be a drawing later in the week to see which one of us would get to take it home.

"I think I wanted that quilt more badly than any other kid in the third grade," I said remembering back. "I mean, what third grader is just dying to win a quilt?"

The day of the big drawing I told my mom not worry, that I had prayed and I knew God would give me this quilt. My mom probably smiled and nodded along, but secretly rehearsing a speech on how God answers our prayers in different ways. She later told me how concerned she was, knowing I would be pretty devastated after not winning it. 

I told my best friend Anna O'Brien during recess that I had never won anything before, but I was really hoping and praying to win this quilt. I'm sure she smiled and tried to reasure me that I would have a chance at winning.

When it came time for the drawing they brought us all in the same room, and put all of our names in a big red bucket. I know I had to be holding my breath the entire time she stirred up the names. And when her voice so clearly said, "Jeran Anderson,"  it felt that the moment had already been written and I was simply walking through it. I proudly came in front of the whole third grade class, (Andrew laughs that it was only 60 people, mocking my small town raising) and smiled my happiest smile and held up the quilt. 

Nothing that day could have quenched my joy. Not even the third grade's class jock (which in third grade means plays sports at recess and cries when he doesn't win). Andrew Mead was across the table from me at lunch and said in his most mocking tone, "Jeran, smile for me. Smile for me like you did when you won the quilt." The quilt was mine. That's all that mattered. 

My mom sat in our big white van, waiting for me to show up in her review mirror, empty handed and crying. But then she later told me she almost gasped as she saw her little redheaded girl bouncing down the sidewalk, queen size quilt in hand, smiling like I was holding the whole world in my hands. She told me she learned a lesson on faith that day. I think I just thought it was the best day of my life. 

And now, married and pregnant, cuddled under that famous quilt with the love of my life... I think maybe God let me win it because He knew I would keep it forever. 

But for now, the magic seems to dance around my room with the cool air blowing in from the window, and I have visions and dreams of having my own children run into our bedroom on fall Saturday mornings, ready to jump and giggle all tangled up in the quilt I won in the third grade. 

No comments:

Post a Comment