Friday, November 21, 2008


When Anna was born and we brought her home, she slept between us every night. At that time I was wearing my Patagonia capilene long-underwear as pajamas, specifically because they were extremely soft and I knew they’d be nice against her skin.

When it was time for her to move into her own room, into her crib, the best advice I got out of the 864 books I’d read on the subject suggested giving her a “transition” object, something that would help her feel safe and secure. I thought, what better than the very shirt she’d been snuggling up against for the first I’m-not-going-to-say-how-many-months of her life. So I sacrificed my long-underwear top: I cut off the long sleeves to protect her from getting them wrapped around her neck, and Anna became totally attached to what became known as “Snuggy”. She slept with Snuggy, she snuggled Snuggy, she WORE Snuggy (she LOVED that she could put the entire thing around her body). When we had some family photos taken on the beach for Christmas cards, Snuggy was there in the pictures because she refused to put Snuggy down. Snuggy went everywhere with us, from the library and the grocery store to every trip we made into Portland for supplies. Snuggy traveled by car and airplane on several trips to Boise, and to Spokane when she stayed with her Nana for a week at a time (twice) when Eric and I went to Alaska and then Hawaii. Then, when we took our big trip in the fall of 2003, Snuggy flew across the country with us to New York. Snuggy went to Central Park, the National History Museum, restaurants, galleries, stores…on subways and ferries and carousels, zoos….upstate NY, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Main….you get the idea. Somehow we managed to cover thousands of miles and and did not lose her. It was easy because Anna simply never let go of Snuggy. Snuggy was very well traveled and extremely well-loved.

Until… the darkest day ever. We’d moved to Spokane and were just having a regular Sunday when we heard an announcement on the local public radio that one of our favorite blue-grass bands was having an impromptu “concert” on the roof-top garden of a photography studio downtown. We decided to grab some lunch first and then we went to the show. By the time it was over, it was getting dark and Anna was tired and then...she realized that SNUGGY. WAS. GONE. We backtracked and looked and looked and made phone calls to the restaurant and the photographer and looked and looked and I took time off work the next day to go scour the parking lot where we’d gotten into and out of the car and we called the restaurant AGAIN. But it was no use: Snuggy was lost. I’m sure that we’d left her on the seat of the restaurant booth and someone, thinking she was just a piece of fabric, threw her away.

That was five years ago, and to this day, if Anna is very tired, she will cry and say how much she misses “big Snuggy.” I had, for some reason, saved the sleeves I’d cut off and tucked them in a drawer. So Anna still has two bits of Snuggy fabric to snuggle, but it’s not the same. Just the other night as she settled into bed, she said “What if” with big tears streaming down her cheeks, “someone found Snuggy and is using her as a RAG?!” OOOOOHHHHhhhhh rip my heart out and tap-dance on it. She is so afraid of losing the two remaining bits of Snuggy that she wants to have her dad make a “special box”.

I’m going somewhere with this, I swear.

Where I’m going, is that I have become obsessed, OBSESSED with finding that fabric. Be it another article of Patagonia’s “base-layer” clothing, or in plain fabric form, I would practically KILL for a good-sized piece of that mid-weight capilene fabric in Periwinkle blue. I want to make her a blanket using that (or VERY similar fabric), so that she could have her Snuggy back. Not because she needs Snuggy anymore; she is, after all, 8. But for sentimental reasons. So that she knows that I know how very important Snuggy was (and is) to her.

Of course, Patagonia only made that exact color one year (roughly 1995). I’m not even entirely sure what the fabric is; it’s mostly polyester, I think, but has the “hand” of a light-weight cotton or jersey. It’s not "slick" like polyester. I have, of course, checked the Patagonia website and all the usual outdoor retailers. I have checked E-bay to see if someone is selling their old long-underwear. I have even thought about writing to Patagonia and seeing if they just happen to have some of that fabric lying around a warehouse somewhere. Am I crazy??

But can you imagine her delight in opening a present Christmas morning and finding a Snuggy blanket?? It’s worth it to be crazy. If any of you have any ideas to help me find that fabric, I would be forever in your debt.


Whosyergurl said...

When Laura was little (now 26) she had a "softie" blanket. One of those pale yellow with the wide silk band around the edges. She kept that thing in her bed for years. Once, when she went on a Girl Scout camp out, she asked me if it would be ok if she put it in the bottom of her sleeping bag so that she could feel it w/her feet. She didn't want the other girls to know she had it. I'll have to ask her if she still has it. :-)

Dee said...

I think you should contact Patagonia and tell them your story ( short version ) and tell what you want and plans for it. They would love the story and the importance of one of their tops being used and so loved for so many years. And include the tears and "rag" story too. I'll bet they would move heaven and earth to try to find the shirt or material for you. Can't hurt !

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

Kate, I totally agree with mom, take what you have written in your blog and edit it just a bit, and send it to Patagonia.

But do your research first. Find out WHO you need to actually send it to. My guess would be either the Director of their marketing department, or the company CEO. But talk to some secretaries and assistants there, and see who THEY suggest. They know who's got the biggest heart. It's your best, and probably your ONLY shot.

And if you ever again say that I "baby" my daughters too much, I'm gonna punch you in the nose.

I lupper!!!

jpogue said...

Oh dear God, you are just like me. You get something in your head and you'll obsess about it forever. Maybe the link Sheri had me send to you might help...sparrow

Fancy Schmancy said...

I have no idea what that fabric even is, so I couldn't possibly help you find it.

But I do know the importance of something like that. My son had his "softy" and my niece had a cloth doll named Baby that she wore out and luckily one of my mother's friends was able to replace it. She's 23 and she still has it.

Maybe try, someone in you area might have something they are willing to just give you.

Good luck!

Imez said...

I second Dee. Just forward Patagonia this post, it was captivating.

God! Do it! Get that poor child her Snuggy back!

JACKI said...

oh, how this post makes my heart ache. Allie has a 'snuggy'. It was my blanket from when I was a child and, like Anna, her 'banket' goes EVERYWHERE. We left it in a store one day and oh how my heart sank when I realized it. Luckily it was found. I cant imagine if we were to ever lose Allie's 'banket'. I can really feel your heart ache. Im so sorry 'snuggy' was lost and I really hope you can find her a new one. Once you do find a new one, you may have to wash it about 100 times, run over it with the car, wash it again & then wear it for a week or so THEN give it to her!

kate said...

Ha! Jacki, you are so right. But even with all that abuse, it would never be the same. Snuggy, just like Allie's blanket is irreplaceable. I've heard of people buying two (or more) of their child's favorite thing to avoid the heartache of losing it. But you just never know what they are going to get attached to.