The wonderfully awesome amazing six-year-old in my house used to have a constant sidekick in all his adventures.

A blanket named Nan-Nan.

To be fair, I see much less of Nan-Nan these days. Nan-Nan is really good at hiding. Plus, Kindergarteners are just way too big to admit that they still might have a baby blanket somewhere.

Especially if the blanket’s name is Nan-Nan.

To be sure, my other boys had their special stuffies or blankets. There was a sheep named “Baa-Baa.” A bear named “Bear-Bear.” A stuffed puppy named “Fido,” who obviously should have been named “Pup-Pup.”

But Nan-Nan took on a life of his own. Nan-Nan could morph into super hero mode at any given moment.

BatNan. SuperNan. Iron Nan.

Light blue and fuzzy on one side with satin baseball print on the other, Nan-Nan was just big enough to transform into a cape whenever necessary. Just the right size in a world where many things are too big for little kiddos.

Washing Nan-Nan used to be a huge ordeal. It had to be a super double secret undercover mission on my part to sneak Nan-Nan into the washer. Otherwise, mass panic, tears, and maybe a full out freak out would result at Nan-Nan’s disappearance.

Nan-Nan… what kind of a name is that anyway?

That name made perfect sense to my little man who was just learning to speak. Nan-Nan was just a toddler abbreviation for “Night-Night,” and this was the night-night blanket. If Johnny Cash could sing about  “A Boy Named Sue,” my little guy could surely have a blanket named Nan-Nan…

I’m not gonna lie – sometimes I’m a little sad that we’re all done with sippy cups and car seats. No more kissing every boo-boo. No more singing “You Are My Sunshine” in the rocking chair.

Never mind that. I’m not THAT sad. We’re moving on to bigger and better things. My little man ties his own shoes, plays tee ball, makes his own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and pours his own glass of milk. Every morning, I still get hugs bigger than Texas and smiles brighter than the summer sun. His big brothers might take ten minutes before they can speak or move in the morning, but this little guy is ready to roll and take on the world. It’s all good.

Eventually, the unforgettable Nan-Nan will be folded up and put away with the rest of a few special things saved from his childhood. But I won’t take him away until my little dude is ready. Not that I could anyway – we’re talking about a blanket with superpowers.

Not to worry, as Nan-Nan enters retirement, there’s a new blanket in town. My little niece has a blanket all full of girl power and some rocking awesome flannel softness infused with super stitches sewed by her Grandma. Every once in a while, we get a special visit from this sweet girl and her own little sidekick.

The name? Kee-Kee. Short for “Blankee.”

Stay tuned.

Diane Karr

Diane Karr lives on a family farm in south central Nebraska with her husband and four sons. Besides chasing after her busy boys and the farm, she volunteers as a church organist. Diane graduated from UNL in 1996 as an agribusiness major, shares stories about farm life at, and is a volunteer for CommonGround Nebraska. She also enjoys Husker football, hazelnut lattes, cooking and baking, boating, photography, and spending time with family and friends.