"No Child Left Inside" · Conversations with Kids · Education · Family life · Growing Up New Hampshire · Mom is Doing Her Best

Gifts from the Heart: Body Belongings, Elves, and Tooth Fairy Criminals


Her sweet little heart would just as easily ask for a gift for her brother as throw him down some stairs…gift from the heart…here you go!

Dear Greta,

You asked your Elf on the Shelf Snowball for a gift from the heart…with your heart being so big at 8.5 years old, this will be an enormous undertaking.  You seemed very happy with your cozy, fleece Christmas blanket the morning before you kicked that older boy, not your brother, in the balls.  Afterwards, you did the right thing by coming to get me because your brother, who was being teased by the older boys, was certainly worked up.  By worked up, we mean his cheeks are really red– partially from heat, partially from anger, and partially from embarrassment likely.  Like a lot of kids, he wants to show off for older boys thinking this will make them like him.  Unfortunately this was not the case, but he does his fair share of impulsive decision making which forces me to hold my tongue.

Bullying, no.

Annoying, yes.

So it’s a good hour later in the car on the way home, when you shared, “So after __________ (name left out to protect the innocent) shoved him, I kicked him in the balls.   That’s what I should do to protect my body belongings.  First, I should scream really loud and then I should kick them and then run.”

I’m still stuck at this new term “body belongings”.  I don’t know it, but I like it and everything it stands for– mostly for how empowered it makes you, my daughter, feel saying it.

However, my first question was, “Did your body belongings actually need protection or was it your brother’s body belongings?”

Your metallic, sly smile answered the question and made my point.  The second question was, “What exactly does body belongings mean?”

“Seriously, Mom, it’s like, my stuff, my body, my thoughts, my stuff.  You know, my stuff,” and you did this all encompassing hand gesture around your body and head as if you were already a college freshmen just home for Thanksgiving trying hard to show how much you’ve learned out there in the big bad world of higher education.

You’ve been a self possessed power poised blond ambition tour all 8 years of your life.  You already suspects the Elf on the Shelf isn’t as magical as your brother believes, pointing out the consistencies in handwriting and choice of the same pen by both elves.    To recall how Mommy really feels about our family’s evolution/ destruction towards Elf on the Shelf, feel free to read from four years ago Elf on the Shelf and Gay Marriage and just this past year: This is Elfing Unbelievable .

This should give you a sense about how I feel about elves in general and the obsession which has now taken over as Grandpa gave Carver one in January for his birthday creating havoc in my understanding of elves coming from the North Pole on Thanksgiving Day.  You are older now and can understand why I would ask, “What the elf are we supposed to do with them when they show up in the middle of January?”  Well, apparently, we sprinkle them with cinnamon and cookie crumbs, and they disappear; I mean they return to the North Pole until it’s time to show up with the rest of the elves.  His unyielding faith in the magic of his Elf on the Shelf is palpable.  A Pinterest mom I’ve never been, but I’m trying to keep the magic alive because the innocence, faith, and hope is just about the best version of childhood.    Our elves are not mischievous– we have enough of that in the young souls of our children so instead we write letters back and forth as you might remember.

I’m afraid your doubt stems from your distrust in the Tooth Fairy You were right that night when you accused the Tooth Fairy of taking your dollar out of the wallet.  I did it, and I lied and said your dad took it to pay the tolls.  I’m sorry.   But the Tooth Fairy has you wondering about Santa and his elves, so this could be the last year of full magic… and that would be sad, but Carver remains obsessed with Elves on Shelves, and his dream to one day be allowed to eat bacon sandwiches every morning for breakfast and have those sandwiches be sponsored by Red Bull (which he is not allowed to drink) as a pro athlete.  You are fully possessed of your body belongings, will defend your family and friends and opinions as needed, and still dream one day of being an Olympic ski racer.  You want to believe fully too and asked Snowball to just bring you something from the heart.  Hope you enjoyed reading my heart this Christmas season 2019.

Love, Mom

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