This is the first time we’ve invited an ‘Elf On A Shelf’ into our home. I say ‘we’ but TBH it came via my husband and if he hadn’t done the ordering it would never have been invited in by me. Yeah, yeah ba-humbug. Whatever. But it’s the truth. I thought it was just ANOTHER thing to be added to the endless list of wifely / mother duties that seems to increase tenfold at this time of year. Anyway, like I said, he arrived – invited by the husband, who has of course handed over all responsibility to me!
So, two days ago I threw myself into it with gusto (yesterday morning ‘Efie’ even had a dusting of snow- must have been a cold night in the north Pole.) Anyhow, I have to admit three days in its working a treat and the letter from Santa even seems to have tipped a sceptical 9yr old over into ‘believing’ for one more year and obviously the 4yr old is lapping it up and yes it is lovely blah, blah, blah. But it’s still another thing to do – at night, when I have everything else in the world to do too. But hey, who needs sleep anyway?
Admittedly, Elfie has got me thinking. What if he really could observe everything that went on in here? What kind of things would he see? And I’m talking about adult behaviour, not just the children! What would an ‘elf eye view’ of our family look like? I for one, am cringing just thinking about it. I’m not sure anyone in the house would be deserving of gifts this year- accept for the husband and that’s cause he’s never here!
Timely enough, homework this week is about observation. The tiny details that pass us over everyday, unnoticed. The small things that make us human, that connect us, that help make our stories sing. So here’s what I’ve observed so far this week. In no particular order:
- The dirtiest dirt is always under my radiators.
- Every night there are wondrous stars in the sky, but I rarely take the time to look at them.
- There are countless shades of gold that make up the blonde of my son’s hair.
- The tiniest hole in a single tooth can cause the biggest pain.
- How people move in the rain; all bent over and out of shape.
- My husband answers the phone EXACTLY the same as his father; a short, rapid hello with a heavy ‘h’ that nosedives towards an abrupt ‘o’. A genetic quirk invisibly passed on.
- The noise of a swallow.
- If I stand still and tip my head back to look at the passing clouds I can feel the earth move.
- The sound of a sleepy breath.
- A thought can be seen.
- A thought can be felt.
- The slick shine on a pavement after rain.
- The different shades of his eyes. Only seen when the light is just right, one iris much paler than the other; a chestnut beside a coffee bean.
- The dead quiet of a winter morning.
- The hushed and humble magic of ‘An Elf On A Shelf’.
- The muck and dirt of winter, the wet of everything. The dog needs a daily bath, he does not get one and so my house is dirty – especially under the radiators!
You don’t have to be a wannabe writer to observe the tiny details. Take 5mins a day to just look at what’s around you. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find.
Now, wishing you all a good-night cause I’ve got washing to sort and then an elf to move!