by Claire Mathias
First, a few definitions:
Tumfork (tuhm-fohrk) Chemmlish for “comfort.”
Chemmlish (ch pronounced as in “chicken”) A language developed by my mother and her sister – Sallie and Enid Cheavens (rhymes with heavens).
Wuv (wuhv) A warmer, fuzzier version of “luv,” which itself is a warmer, fuzzier version of “love.” Commonly used in Chemmlish.
Lovey (luhv-ee) Not to be confused with the term of affection used by Mr. Howell when addressing Mrs. Howell on Gilligan’s Island. In this context, I am referring to a security object to which children become attached. Characteristics include the ability to interest, comfort and entertain a child. (This apt definition is from Tamara Cryar, lovey expert and founder of the PocketLovey company.)
We pretty much all need some degree of tumfork and wuv on a regular basis. But when we’re blue, when we hurt, or when we’re sick, we may need a little extra. And some of us, beginning in our baby years, to toddling and well beyond, need to keep a tumfork object close at hand. Perhaps a special blanket or stuffie.
I’ve been pondering tumfork items while I’ve been writing a blog post for my friend’s PocketLovey website. Her company hand-makes the loveliest loveys ever. Divinely soft, quite chic, and just the right size for our little ones. If I had had a PocketLovey as a child, I’m pretty sure it would have been my favorite tumfork object (instead of my poor ragged blankie pictured above).
This in turn reminded me about a unique way the Ronald McDonald House Charities offers some extra tumfork and wuv to kids and families in medical crisis. You have heard about our home cooked meals and our rooms lovingly decorated by volunteers. But did you know about our welcome kits?
Each family finds a welcome kit in their room which contains not only toiletries and other essentials, but also an ouch buddy, a kid-sized quilt or blanket, and a small pillow. These special gifts are handmade by many volunteers, including:
Cameron Road Church of Christ makes the Soft Touch Pillow as part of a ministry also affiliated with the Lifeline Chaplaincy.
Project Linus of Williamson, Travis, Hays, and Bastrop Counties, meets monthly to make quilts, fleece blankets, knitted and crocheted afghans.
Soaringwords volunteers makes the SoaringQuilt, designed specifically for ill children and their families. This national charity has an alliance with Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Our welcome kits are a great example of the special touches we provide here. This attention to detail and heartfelt caring from volunteers are what make this house a home and why I am proud to work here.
Ps I invite you to read the PocketLovey blog. My post isn’t up yet, but I think you’ll enjoy Sharyn Vane’s sweet post.