Sunday, September 02, 2007

Shadow Play


Like kids everywhere, Zboy is a little afraid of the dark. He has a light-sensitive night light in his room, which makes going to bed much easier on him. But sometimes he still wants a little company as he heads off to dreamland.
Tonight, with silent lightning flickering behind the curtains, he asked me to talk to him about when I was young. About the house I grew up in. It's a little spooky that he asked me about this tonight of all nights, as I'd been thinking about that house today and even drove by it. I told him that we didn't have air conditioning when I was little. Instead, we had an attic fan. It was a glorious and frightening contraption that moved the air in the house. But you had to have the trap door to the fan open, and the windows open to make the air flow. Back then, you could sleep with the windows open with little fear. Of course we had screens - had to or the mosquitoes would eat you as you slept. I had my bed sideways against the wall with the big windows and would sleep across it with my head on the window sill so that the air would flow over my head and down my body, keeping as much of me cool as possible. Perhaps that is why, to this very day, I cannot sleep in a room without a fan. The air must be moving for me to be able to sleep.
He asked me about friends, what we did for fun, and what was my favorite memory of the house. I told him all kinds of things. About my pal Stephanie from two doors down. About playing in the street because there were no cars. About roaming the neighborhood at night. About the Christmas that we all got football shirts and some friends of my uncle came to dinner and we all had musical instruments and had a parade around the livingroom making as much racket as possible. About the backyard and its fig trees and how Mom used to put rubber snakes in them to scare away the birds, then forgetting that she put them there and scaring herself silly when she went to pick the figs.
We finally lapsed into mostly silence, laying on our backs cross-ways in the bed with our heads toward the side with the nightlight on it. I raised my hands up and made a bird on the ceiling. ZBoy was enchanted. We tried all kinds of stuff. I managed a deer with a crazy eye rolling around, a camel, a dog, and a rabbit. ZBoy tried the eagle, but couldn't quite get his hands at the right angle to the light, so it turned more into a spider than into a bird.

I suppose we could have used one of these... but I have to say, my camel was better than this one!

12 comments:

Babzy said...

What a great post. Love it. I'm going to show these hand shadows to my little nephew. We like to do things like that together.

ablondeblogger said...

Oh my gosh, I love that chart! How cool is that?!

My Matthew's the same way about the dark. Amanda and Natalie could have all lights out and door shut. He needs door open and hall light on and if he could totally have it his way, his bedroom light would be on too, lol.

Come enter my new contest, btw! $100 gift card to an upscale baby/children's boutique. Woo hoo! :)

nikki said...

I have to lay down with Aaron every night before he falls asleep. He doesn't like the dark either. I didn't even think about showing him the joys of shadow puppets. The again the only one I can do is the rabbit.

Kim Ayres said...

Unfortunately all my hand shadows just look like hands...

Babzy said...

Sayre, did you take the photo of the hand and shadow? If so, how did you get the colours to look so unusual? I really like it.

Sayre said...

I wish I could take credit for the photo AND the chart. I found both of them on the internet by searching for "shadow puppets". I was surprised, however, by how few actual pictures of people doing this there were... And I loved the chart - we might have to try some of those out tonight!

Jeff said...

I used to be fascinated with shadow puppets. I think I still am. ;)

Stepping Over the Junk said...

We do this too. By the light of our light sabers. (really)

Anonymous said...

There's a video currently circulating, via email attachment, of a professional shadow puppeteer doing his act. It's amazing.
///
I caught the latest episode of MadMen on AMC (cable channel) tonight. A new character was introduced. She's a switchboard operator for the ad agency. Her name on the show is Lois Sadler.
-phre3D

Swampwitch said...

I'm sure someone will link you to that video before I can get home to locate it. Can't find it right now. It's awesome.

Debs said...

That is so cool!! I sometimes entertain myself at night doing these. :D

Pamela said...

I am enchanted, too.