Hugs, Tears, Cheers

“Elmo Loves You”

Last night, Wednesday night, was date night for the hubs and I. We watched Elmo. Oh what fun, eh? Actually, it was wonderful. No, Sesame Street Live is not in town. Nor did we hook up at a hotel and watch PBS Kids.

Rather we went back to one of my old 20-something stomping grounds, “The Fashionable Eastside” as it was (still is?) called and hung out with Kevin Clash at the Oriental Theater.
Read More in JAK Chat…

I had seen the trailer for the documentary, “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”  (the man behind/underneath, character/voice of Elmo) a few months ago and I wanted to go!  Problem was, the closest movie theater showing the film was in Indianapolis.  Hey, I was up for a trip to Indy, afterall, that’s where I believe I first met Elmo.

My high school friend’s, first-born son, Ben,
wouldn’t let go of that red scrappy looking muppet of his. 
That was probably twenty years ago and I knew then,
there was something just too loveable and special
about this little high-pitched pleasantly stuffed fella.  

It was the holiday season, and as much as going to Indy sounded fun, let’s get real, I’ve done crazier things for Elmo (as you’ll soon read) but it just wasn’t gonna happen.  Yet, I saw that I could grab a “button”, embed it on my website, and petition to get it to play here, well, Milwaukee, though I totally could see it being played at the Golden Rondelle (Anyone have any pull there? Yeah, I’m talking to you!).

Well, a year or two, after my introduction to Elmo, my first-born Gabrielle (oh, I’m sorry honey, it’s Gabby) was introduced to Elmo.  Oh my gosh, she LOVED LOVED LOVED Elmo, and as Elmo would tell her daily on Sesame Street and in one of our favorite books, Elmo loves her, too.

Enter an even hipper, interactive version of Elmo, the Tickle Me, Elmo, and the Gabs mom just HAD TO HAVE IT!  It was the hottest toy for Christmas 1996 and I remember it well as I was expecting #2, just before Christmas.  I swore, with an already well-loved Elmo, we didn’t need another one.  Though who could resist?  All of the mommies were talking about it, on the phone, in play group, on TV, everywhere.  It was all about the hunt.  And I was up for the challenge.  I just had to get my hands on one of those coveted Elmos, not because we needed it, but because everyone else wanted it.  I pulled out all of the stops.  Nothing was going to get in the way of this preggo momma and what I anticipated to be the gift she’d scream over when she opened it on Christmas.  She deserved it, afterall, cuz she wasn’t going to be “the baby” anymore in a few short weeks.  My craziest antic was lining up at K-mart at 4am one freaking cold winter morning (pay no mind that I was 8 months pregnant), because it was rumored that K-mart was receiving 27 TME’s on that morning truck.  My sources were right, but, the word spread fast, and I ended up getting rain check #6, which was eventually filled.  Well, I wound up with 4 of them.  Had no problem, finding homes for any of Elmos.  Giving one to my Gabs, another to her same-aged cousin, Luke, one sold on E-bay (oh, yeah, I made some jing on that transaction), and another playgroup mommy got my 4th Elmo.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that she didn’t like her Tickle Me, Elmo…she did.  Yet, it was her first Elmo, that grabbed and kept her heart.  Oh well.  Her cousin and our cats?  They freaked out on TME on Christmas Eve.  Of course, eventually warming up to, then loving yet another Elmo.

Tickle Me Elmo Loves Cheerios! And Elmo Love You, Too!

With my youngest being 8 now, it’s been awhile since Sesame Street has been on our TV.  It’s been years since I’ve tucked a child in bed with their Elmo.  All four of mine have been Elmo freaks to one degree or another.  My oldest? She was by far our family’s biggest Elmo fan, well, next to her momma.  Me thinks we still is (Elmo fans, that is).

Gabby Loves Elmo!

Funny, what I thought might be a review of the award-winning documentary, ended up to be a review of my life, our lives with Elmo.  Maybe not all episodes written out in this blog, but remembered with emotion.  The same feelings felt while watching the movie: the warmth of a hug, a touch of melancholy tears welling up in my eyes, and expression of thanks.  Thanks for those memories, Elmo…uh, Kevin.  This mommy loves you, too.

Now, last night’s screening came and went. Thank you, Milwaukee Film Festival, I’m so glad I ran across your tweet last week.  Geez, I know there are so many of you that would just love to see this movie.  I was missing my kids, no offense to my husband.  But, they would’ve loved it too.

Please go to the home page of  the Just Add Kids’ website, and please click the “Demand It’ button and bring (back) “Being Elmo:  A Puppeteer’s Journey” to us.

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