Thursday, March 13, 2008

A realization and the diorama revealed

A realization
Yesterday one of Child One’s choirs did a concert at a retirement home. This was the first time he had to wear a proper white dress shirt. In the afternoon, as I was ironing (shocking, I know) his shirt, I was hit with a realization. The shirt is big—almost man-sized. While Child One has inherited the scrawny genes from both sides of the family and is not a particularly tall kid, this shirt is closer in size to his father’s shirts than it is to the stripy little-boy ones he used to wear (oh, how I loved those stripy little-boy shirts).

I drove Child One and his friend to the retirement home and stood with them as they put on their vests and ties. This was also the first time that he’s worn a suit-type vest and a tie. As he stood there, dressed up and with his hair slicked to the side, I got a glimpse of what he might look like as a grown-up. And when my husband went to pick them up, at first he didn’t recognize his own son.

Of course, I’ve watched him grow over the years, from a little-bit-premature baby to the almost-teenager he is now. He’s measured his growth against me, his head reaching my hips and then my stomach and then my “pointy bits” (as he called them then) and now passing my shoulders. But until yesterday it didn’t occur to me that he is much closer to his future adulthood than he is to his past toddlerhood.

My guy is growing up.

The diorama revealed
And now, due to popular demand (well, Margerie), here’s a picture of Child Two’s diorama of Inuit life in the summer, taken yesterday. I’m happy to say that almost a week after it was brought to school, everyone’s body parts are still attached.

Here you can see (clockwise from the left)

  • one guy (who lost his legs twice during construction) sleeping in the tent (which underwent a major collapse at one point),
  • one man (who lost his head) training a dog (who kept all his body parts the entire time),
  • two children (one of whom lost her head and the other of whom lost an arm and a foot) playing with a sealskin ball,
  • the famous hunter (who not only lost an arm and a whole leg, but whose foot broke in two) getting ready to aim his bow and arrow at a bird, and
  • one man (who lost an arm twice and his head once) fishing using a traditional rock weir and pronged fishing stick (looking at it now, I wonder if he’s meant to be standing right in the river).
Sadly out of the picture is a woman (who lost her head) picking berries. To give you some idea of scale, the box is the kind that copy paper comes in.

Materials used include various types of fabric (cotton, burlap, fake fur, and felt), salt dough, paint, twigs, rocks, embroidery floss, thread, yarn, cardboard, brown paper, wrapping paper, cellophane, moss, wooden sticks, toothpicks, and copious amounts of three kinds of glue.

It’s not as slick as some, but the teacher’s comment as soon as she saw it was, “Oh, that is so Child Two. I can see all the thought she put into it” (although, of course, the teacher doesn’t call her Child Two). My favorite parts are the wildflowers (tiny flowers cut out of fabric glued onto colored stick stems) and the river, which is made of two layers—blue shiny paper on the bottom and blue cellophane on top—so that it looks like the fish are underwater and the river gets shallower on the edge. I also love the fact that Child Two, always one to appreciate diversity, has given some of her pre-contact Inuit people blue and green eyes.


Mallu said...

A tremendous realization. Makes me think about our daughter.

Thanks for the picture! The diorama looks better than I could imagine. Great work, with the river and flowers and all. I like it!

Margerie said...

Love the diorama. Your smart girl has one smart mom! The dumb moms horn in and do the entire project "correcting" eye colors, etc..!

But Susan, I think you missed your calling. You would make a great broken-body tracker/attacher ;)