When I was a child your grammie used to tuck me into a “cocoon” at bedtime. She tucked the blankets under me, from head to toe, so that I was as snug as a bug in a rug. She told me that I’d turn into a butterfly. This is one of the few things that I remember from my childhood, so it is precious to me.
One night I decided to try cocooning on Marshall. He loved it, and Livia caught on quickly, too. Now it is part of our nighttime ritual, but the game has grown in complexity. Not only do you get tucked into cocoons, but you’re also allowed to choose colors and special designs for your butterfly selves. I sprinkle on most colors with pretend paint that I pull out of my pockets, but there are some special colors, too. Rainbow colors are created with intense tickling. Blue has to be blown on (and you think it’s the funniest thing when I blow on your toes or up your shirt!). You turn red if I toss you up in the air and you hit a “red cloud.” As for designs, I make polka dots by poking you (of course!) and stripes by brushing them on with my fingers. Right now Marshall always chooses red, and he always pretends that his toe has missed the red cloud, because he wants to be tossed into the air again (which I refuse to do—one toss is all you get!). Livia always chooses to be a blue butterfly with polka dots and stripes.
I try to enjoy this constantly evolving game as much as I can, because I know that it won’t last forever. It will fade away, just like the old armor game that we used to play when it was cold and you wore footie pajamas to bed. But you never know. Maybe you’ll want to be butterflies for years to come, and I hope you do. My mother must have cocooned me many times for me to remember all these years later.
Speaking of your grammie, I told her that I cocoon you at night. She laughed and said it was desperation that drove her to invent the game. Hah! I suspect that’s something you’ll learn when you have children of your own—kids are amazing and so much fun, but youÂ really needs a lot of imagination and energy to keep them entertained! Cocooning works, so let’s make it a family tradition. Cocoon your kids and then they’ll cocoon theirs, and on and on—generation after generation of beautiful butterflies.