Thursday, December 9, 2010


This is about as quick and dirty as they come - I'm in the thick of final exam prep, holiday prep, shipping prep, wrapping, cooking, baking, and merry making prep. I'll return to my normal, loquacious self after the 14th at approximately 9:00p.m. when my final exam will be finished. Until then -

Tonight my mom invited us to view Monticello in the "after hours" tour for a chance to see Jefferson's home decorated for Christmas. It was cool and kind of spooky to be on grounds after dark - I often feel like you don't really know what a home is like until you see it in darkness...

We were touring the various rooms and Leo kept asking about all the rope barriers that prevent visitors from touching anything in the home. Leo asked, "So we are not allowed in that room?" "No, Leo, we're not allowed." Staring into the room, backlit by candlelights, he asked, "What about shadows? Are shadows allowed into the room?"

I loved, loved, loved this question on so many levels.... Leo delights in his shadow whenever he finds it, and it is still clear that he does not have it altogether figured out yet. On the surface, his question probes a basic concept he has yet to master fully - but delving deeper, it suggests so much more. Maybe I've had a little too much Freud this semester, but all I could think about was a shadow representing one's Id... the ability of my shadow, my Id to go where no one else is allowed to go, to lay down on Jefferson's bed, wear his boots, look out his telescope.

This morning, we were shivering inside the car at the bus stop. I had the heat on, but we were still frozen. Aidan looked up at the car's thermometer and said, "I know it is 10 degrees, but what is it in Calcium?" (Celsius).

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