Thursday, August 21, 2008

Afraid of her own shadow...literally

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

-Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child's Garden of Verses

Yesterday at the movie, Adriana was playing on the landing near the emergency exit. Just before I picked her up to take her back to our seat, she began pointing at the floor and whining. I looked at where she was pointing, but couldn't see much because of her shadow. I pulled her to the side so I could see if she had dropped something, but then she pointed into the area of her shadow again, and I realized that was going on: she had just noticed her shadow for the first time. I scooped her up and went back to where our friends were sitting, thinking that there was probably no line in her baby book for this particular developmental milestone.

Even though I had mentioned what had happened to Brian, I was surprised as I led Adriana toward the bathroom to brush her teeth before bed last night. As we walked into the bedroom, the light on Brian's bedside table cast our shadows before us onto the ground. Adriana stopped where she was and reached for my hand. She pointed anxiously at her shadow. "It's your shadow," I told her. "It's because of the light. It won't do anything bad." Nevertheless, she ran behind my legs. I called to Brian, who came in and made some shadow puppets on the floor for her. She seemed okay with that, but there was still something about her own shadow that made her uncomfortable.


jfh said...

A Child's Garden of Verses was one of the first books I had. My mom always taught me poems. I remember her reciting them to me at bedtime. My uncle, my mom's brother, could quote long Shakespearean passages. I loved and still love poetry. Thanks for the memories.

Elizabeth said...

I loved the book too. I should ask my dad if our old copy is still kicking around his house somewhere. I have little bits of it memorized still, and the first two lines of the shadow poem came to mind when Adriana noticed hers, but I had to Google for the rest of it.

Judith (Jay) said...

I have always loved that moment when a child discovers his/her shadow. And now that you mention it, I'm almost surprised that there isn't a line in the baby book for it!