The Elf and the Middle Schooler

That damned Elf on a Shelf is back. I thought that last year was my last to worry about moving the elf and planning escapades for him...but then I heard the excitement in the boy's voice a few days before Thanksgiving, "Jakey-Poo will be here in less than a week!" I admit that for a brief moment I thought about outing that impish elf right then and there so that I wouldn't have to deal with him for the next month.

I need to back up a bit and explain that I was one of  "those moms" with our elf. I had him doing adventurous things like parachute from the ceiling fan and make a snow angel in powdered sugar. I even took pictures of his adventures and for 2 years I had a Shutterfly books printed up with the pics and my editorialization of Jakey Poo's adventures. I wanted to keep the magic alive as long as I could, until I grew tired of it. I phoned it in the 3rd year, heck it wasn't even the same elf as I had lost the original and had to buy a replacement! Mom fail to the elf-extreme.

This year, this unexpected elf year, has been viewed by me as a pain in my ass...until last night. I dropped my child off at church and watched him get into the van to go to a youth Christmas party. It hit me then that my little man-child was just that, between childhood and manhood. I drove home to wait for pickup time and I sobbed all the way home. (Injecting here that I was a bit sleep-deprived.) My child, my only child, was growing up and I honestly am not sure where the time has gone.

Surely it was only last year when he was stretching his arms up to me saying, "Mommy, hold you." And now he is wearing deodorant and has feet bigger than my own. I cried over the knowledge that before I know it he will be asking to borrow the keys to the car and will be holed up in his room with thoughts that he will not be sharing with me. It's already started you know. Saturday I looked outside and he and his friend were laying on the trampoline talking. It was such a sweet scene to see those 2 talking about what ever it is 11 year olds talk about. I wouldn't know because when I asked what they were talking about the only answer I got was, "Nothing."

So Elf, you have my full attention for now. Surely next year you will have gone the way of Thomas the Train and Matchbox cars. This year I will hold onto this tradition and enjoy every moment of my child's in between time.


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