“Let’s catch a shadow”, I tell him as he pushes around his new bike. Royal blue, motorcycle style, it was the first thing he woke up to on Christmas morning.
This idea came after he had been waking up to shadows that haunted him. Shadows lit by his nightlight from behind a coat, a toy; these things that cast their images upon the wall morphed into monsters, sending him to get me at all hours of the night. “They’re bad shadows, Mommy.”
He pulls his bike onto the patio where I’m waiting with sidewalk chalk in hand. Suspicion paints his face in squints and I point out the shadows – Handlebars, peddles, chain. They stretch unnatural, but he sees the familiar as the sun lights the sky, warm on our backs. The only darkness right now is that shadow. “Okay.”
“Okay, pull it away.” I smile as he catches sight of it.
“Oh, yeah, Mommy. Let’s do Sissy’s now.” He pulls over Chloe’s bike and I pick up pink and begin to trace. “Are you done yet, Mommy?” He moves the bike to see where I’m drawing.
He moves the bike back into position and waits. He’s excited now, watching these bikes loom larger than life.
“I’m done.” He moves the bike quick and delights at the two captured on the patio.
“More, Mommy.” We trace each other’s feet, our legs, and our faces pressed into the patio, hats crowning our heads.
For this day he gets to hold the shadows captive. This moment, he knows that the handle bars are not twice-the-size monsters, but darkness at the mercy of light.
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12