Two days into December, and I forget to move the elf.
And it’s ok, for a change. Let me explain…
The night before, shortly after putting the kids to bed, we hear sobs coming from upstairs. Listening, we determine it is Miss M, who was tired but seemingly fine just minutes before. Confused, I make my way to her bedside, and it takes a good five minutes of cajoling and soothing and shushing to get her calmed down enough to even speak.
“Mommy, I don’t want to sleep alone anymore!” (This coming from the girl whose slept in her own room since birth.)
I asked her why she felt this way. “I’m afraid of the dark”, she wails amidst a new round of sobs.
Again, I’m perplexed – this is a girl who likes it dark AND must have the door closed. ”I’ve felt this way for a few nights, but I just can’t hold it in anymore!” My heart goes out to her, but I’m totally befuddled by this new situation, and prompted her for more.
“I just can’t stop thinking about those non-fiction books about ghosts. They’re REAL!!!!! I even read about the ghost of Abraham Lincoln….”
I sigh. Last week, her best boy buddy talked her into a bunch of haunted house books on their library day. I know this, as I was library helper that day, and in my best non-helicopter mom “hold your breath and don’t say anything” mode, I let her take them, knowing full well that she’d miss her non-fiction books on eels and dolphins and geckos and lizards and whatever other books that will fill her up with interesting and disgusting facts that she will drop into conversation like she’s asking for a glass of water or a hug. (“Did you know the starfish has TWO stomachs, and when he needs to digest in one he shoves the other outside his body?” is not what you want to gleefully be told as you are taking your first bite of beef stew, let me tell you….)
Taking a deep breath, I explained that OUR house doesn’t have any ghosts. I know the people who lived in the house before us, and they are still alive and well, and there is no one haunting here. I added the only thing watching over her might be angels – “Like Papa Dan?”, she interrupted. I agreed. “And Holly watches us!” Well, I wasn’t quite thinking about the Elf, but I ran with it.
“Maybe if you ask Papa Dan to watch over you tonight, he will!” She readily agreed, folded her little hands, and said a little prayer to Papa Dan (her great-grandfather), throwing in a request to Holly at the end. Not long after, she was sound asleep – albeit, with a butterfly night-light casting a soft pink-and-green glow on her floor.
Returning downstairs, and not wanting to move Holly in case she woke up again, I settled in with a book. And then went to bed.
* * *
In the morning, she was disappointed when she realized – at the same time as I did – that Holly had not moved.
Then she brightened. “She couldn’t, she was watching over me! Do you think she will go talk to Santa while we are at school?”
I said I thought she would.
And she did.
Has your elf come to an unexpected use during the holiday season? Let me know if it has!!!