An Early Spring

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This is Texas, so we’ve already had spring sprinkled all through our winter. It was 80 degrees yesterday. The week of Christmas my butterfly plant bloomed again. We have definitely not been holed-up with cans of Campbell’s soup to warm us after a snowball fight. Down here in Texas we know Spring will be here soon, so Punxsutawney Phil didn’t give us any surprises, but I’m sure for some of our neighbors to the north, news of an early Spring is the buzz around town.

I kind of like Groundhog’s Day. It’s one of the few holidays yet to be destroyed by commercialism. No one is expecting cards or gifts or candy-filled eggs. And even though the Hallmark channel hasn’t dedicated months to groundhog cinema, there is indeed one funny movie to celebrate with. Too bad it’s not on Netflix- I’d stream it for the kiddos and make them a Groundhog’s Day feast.

Groundhog-Driving-Phils

Nothing to sell here folks! Just a groundhog going for a drive…

I think I just had a genius idea! Maybe we should celebrate Groundhog’s Day. Blondie can break out the karaoke, we’ll have Dyl Pickles build us a bonfire, we can play Slap Jack on the living room floor… this might be a plan brewing…

When Dylan was little, he made me a groundhog at school. It was so cute- a little paper groundhog mounted to a Popsicle stick that jumped out of a toilet paper tube, I kept that one around for a while. But that’s not my favorite Groundhog’s Day memento.

My favorite Groundhog’s Day was long long ago, way back in the 70’s, and yes, I still remember it. According to my children that was the age of the Brontosaurus; apparently born before texting = prehistoric.

After an exhilarating afternoon at “Mother’s Day Out,” I came home needing an elephant. Yes, a real elephant. I was absolutely sure I would get one, too. All I had to do was wait for my daddy to get home. He wouldn’t tell me no, I was absolutely certain.

My mom is probably still wondering what elephants had to do with Groundhog’s Day, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that we waited patiently for him to get home. (Patience and toddlers go hand in hand, right?)

Just as I figured, my dad said yes. There was only one catch- I’d have to clean up after my elephant. I agreed. Then he said the elephant’s poop was taller than I was. I started to reconsider. I decided I could definitely settle for a toy elephant, so off to the mall we went.

I looked at dozens of elephants at the toy store, but none of them were what I wanted. We circled the mall until the threat of closing time was upon us. Then on a display in JC Penny I spotted a pink elephant hanging way up high. It was that magical movie moment where beams of light from the sky pointed out the perfect elephant. It was meant for me. My parents asked to buy it. “It’s not for sale, it’s a display,” they were told. Tears started to roll. I bet I had that broken-hearted pouty-face I’ve seen my grandbaby sport a time or two. “NOT FOR SALE,” was not going to be acceptable.

My mom and dad refused to give up! In fact, I’ve heard it told, my dad let the manager know “if it’s in the store, it’s for sale.” Eventually, they saw the wisdom in his kind words. (By kind, I probably mean highly irritated “don’t make my baby cry, it’s been a long day” words.)

I’m not sure how he pulled it off, but I went home with a pink elephant as big as I was. Was I spoiled? Maybe.

Now if you look in any parenting magazine, you’ll read that clearly I should have been told no, but I’m so glad I wasn’t. Life isn’t always hunky dory with a pink elephant, but in the tough times, that old friend kept one special message on display.

I am loved.

My daddy came home and said “if it’s an elephant you want, it’s an elephant you’ll have!” My parents took me on a journey that has lasted in my memory for well over 35 years- a little girl, in the mall, getting to have her heart’s desire! Now that’s a fantasy we can all relate to, right?!

As we leave childhood behind, most of the things that were part of it are left behind too, but for me, there is a pink elephant still hanging around. He reminds me that I had people, and those people adored me, and best of all- he never poops!

 
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