I think it has been awhile since I shared about my good friend at work, Jean.
She is the one who calls me, “Little Bird,” while I call her “Big Bird.” She is also
the one who taught me about patience at work and in relationships. She had
me laughing out loud at our first break, where she was telling me about her
granddaughter’s “obsession” or attachment to the character from the book,
“Elf on the Shelf.”
I exclaimed, “It is time to put Elf on the Shelf away, Grandma! Christmas is
Jean crinkled up her mobile face which is always so full of expression,
almost like a ‘caricature’ or how a mime acts.
She adamantly declared,
“I cannot since she has possession of him, she takes him home after she
spends the night, talking to him during the day and whispering to him before
she goes to sleep. I am a little worried about her attachment to this doll!”
Jean (otherwise known only by me and now you, as “Big Bird”) told me that
she had a recent “Elf on the Shelf” party with balloons, cupcakes and of course,
guest of honor: the Elf.
Her little toddler Shelly whispers to the Elf, “Happy Birthday to you, Elf!”
and Jean told me she could not help but take photos of the grand event
and sing “Happy Birthday, dear Elf” to the little guy.
I gave her some comfort telling her that my two oldest children, who were
born only 18 months apart had their own version of an “Invisible Playmate,”
in the character “Tigger” from Winnie the Pooh. Although Shelly can see
her Elf doll, my two kids would ‘use’ Tigger for their excuse for ‘bad behavior’
and Shelly uses the Elf as a way to explain why she is misbehaving.
“Elf told me to kick back and not make my bed today,” or “Elf told me it was
okay to get a cookie out of the cookie jar without asking.”
I told her there wasn’t much difference between her granddaughter having
a “Visible Imaginary Friend” and my two kids having the same “Invisible
She chuckled at this thought. Jean went on to tell me that the main
difference she felt about Elf was, he gets dragged around everywhere.
I told her “Tigger” had to be literally seat-belted in and if I were in a hurry,
my two kids would roll down the window yelling,
“Mom, Tigger is jumping up and down outside our car!”
I actually had to pull over on a busy highway, after I stopped to get gas,
to let poor forgotten Tigger back into the car!
“At least if you forget the Elf, you know you did!”
I listened to this fun-loving friend, who while we do morning exercises, she
is the gawky and awkward ‘leader’ shouting out at us like a Drill Sargeant,
“Big arm circles. Forward! Backward!” as her arms look like helicopter wings
getting ready to take off in flight.
Jean’s softer side comes out while away from work and especially can ‘see’
this in her loving stories about her granddaughter.
Jean rarely mentions the man she waited for years and years. He was her
“first love” and her “first and only husband.”
I hesitate to ask her how her love life is going. You may wish to check out her
Jean’s little granddaughter ‘hit it off’ with my little grandies, “M & M” girls. Her
name is Shelly and she originally was named Michelle. She goes to preschool
but she is considered ‘backwards’ since she whispers to herself. I gave Jean
a short ‘piece of my mind’ about her preschool teacher’s thought processes:
“Jean, daydreamers are such creative and deep thinking children. I know that
my one brother and my oldest daughter have always been the ones teachers
misunderstood. Sometimes they are ‘learning disabled, gifted in some areas
and weak in others.”
Jean told me Shelly loves to help her when she works at the fair in the Fall.
She wears a little apron, takes orders from adults and hands money to her
I mentioned this is a great way for her to open up and be comfortable with
a variety of people, taking directions and also, she is able to pour drinks
into cups and deliver to the customers. I hope that when Shelly goes to
elementary school, her teacher has some experience with daydreamers,
since they are the ones who often bring us art, music, literature and may
be the next inventors or scientists of the world.
While I hugged Jean after our half work day and wished her a very happy
Easter, she told me a sweet whisper,
“You know you’re my favorite, Robin!”
I smiled, nodded and replied in a similar manner.
Then, she pulled my arm as I was getting ready to leave and she said,
“Shelly tells me this every time she sees me, whispering the words into
Are you a daydreamer? Did this ever ‘hold you back?’
If you were not considered a ‘daydreamer’ but had a sibling or a child
who was, what did you do to encourage their becoming part of the
existing world instead of ‘living in their imaginary world?’