I stayed up late last night. After two final episodes of Daredevil, the completion of making the next day's lunches and an impromptu (but much needed) pedicure I'd finally wasted enough time. I was sure the kids were deeply asleep and wouldn't bother me so I set about my task.
I trudged down to the basement, carefully setting aside boxes and whisking away dust to uncover a long lost friend - Santa's little helper around the Brown household, Rocky.
Don't roll your eyes, we're a proud elf on the shelf family, and I'm still a hardcore thug mama!
It's just that Ashton was 3 and Roman was 1 (Parker wasn't yet a tequila-drenched twinkle in her daddy's eye) when Rocky arrived. And toddlers are the perfect age for magic. They were awash in delight when they realized that the elf we'd read about in our storybook the night before had decided to visit us. My big girl named her, where she came up with 'Rocky' I'll never know but, it stuck. And every year since on December 1st we've come up with silly ways to re-introduce the Christmas season with our elfish friend.
Don't get me wrong, I know "the reason for the season" and I've read the articles on honesty during the holidays being important for your child's developing maturity. Everybody's an expert, right? But hey, those writers have their take, and I have mine.
I'm a 36 year old woman that loves anything that lights up the eyes of my free spirited brown babies, the upturn in their brows when they've discovered something unexpected, and the alliances quickly formed when they enlist their siblings to help uncover more of the fun. I relish in the laughter that comes every morning when they've discovered Rocky's hiding place or unearthed the new mischief she's engaged in. I like the (stage) whispered talks after they've been put to bed about how on earth our little sprite can travel so quickly each night back to the North Pole to report on their behavior. And realistically, I know now that at 3, 5 and 7 they won't be such willing participants (as a trio) for very long. But that's ok, times change and they'll get older and more honest with themselves and hopefully, if I've done something right, whoever gets it first won't spoil the fun for the others.
Because if there's one thing I try to teach my kids, it's that the world is big and hard and sometimes even scary. But here, at home, we create the peace and happiness (and in this case, the magic) that we need to forget all of that.
I want them to be tough, I do. Hell, I want them to be smart and strategic too, but right now, I want them to know it's ok to believe in the unbelievable...that's a skill that can take them just as far.