My (adult) daughter Sopie* knows me well. She's just one of those people who's listening when you didn't know she was. One of those people that always gets you the gift that's just right because she heard you make some obscure comment seven months ago about how your husband always complains when you read in bed. Yeah.
So Sophie surprised me once again. She bought me a book-light. Probably every book-addict worth their salt (I have no idea where that came from...salt?) already has one. But I didn't. So I was thrilled far beyond what is reasonable. I practiced by turning all the lights off in the living room and attaching it to a magazine. Wow. It was fabulous. It has a button that you push (so technological) and the light slowly folds out and into position. And it is very light...well I guess a light would be. I went to bed early and turned off the lights. I read a few words of my book. It was great. Then I turned my bedside table lamp back on and read until my husband came to bed. I was like a kid on Christmas...I couldn't wait! Finally he came to bed and I flipped the light on. I read a few words, and then I noticed something.
The light was bright enough to make some pretty cool shadows on the walls and ceiling. A pile of clothes morphed into a shadow-mountain. A vase-shadow stretched to the ceiling. A lotion bottle became a pillar in Greece and a plastic Army-guy (my son's toy, not my husbands) stood larger-than-life, ready for battle.
My husband settled into sweet slumber, I unclipped the light and aimed it around the room. Shadows stretched tall and shrank back. My finger inadvertantly held over the light, I got an idea. Hand-shadows. I made every animal shape I could remember, childhood memories flooding. My favorite was always a duck, probably because we live near a duck pond. I glanced at my husband...still asleep. Then I caught myself.
I opened the book and clipped the light back on. I read a few words. Then I turned it off and went to sleep...a slight smile crept across my lips as I thought about my silent silliness.
Sometimes I think it is wise-well maybe not wise. Sometime I think it's smart-well maybe not smart. Sometimes I think...you just have to go with the moment. Sometimes I think you must throw out all "shoulds" that we adults are so full of and add in a "wanna." I wanna make hand-shadows. Why? I don't know, I just wanna!
As for the book light. I am hoping that the novelty will wear off and I'll be able to concentrate enough to actually read at night now. If not, you'll find me late at night, making shadows on my ceiling. So if you walk by my house and swear there's a giant duck in there, no need to panic. It's just me, "reading" before bed.
*not her real name