I created a video from snippets that I shot with my phone while taking a walk with my son yesterday. He often finds it difficult to sleep at naptime, so I roll him about the neighborhood, and the dogs, and birds, and cars put him to sleep. Then, I usually head for a little green park, where I sit on a bench and watch him sleep. So many times I wish I could send him messages in his dreams: valuable words to live by.
ETA: Above, I've created an enhanced version of the video I call the "dream version," where some of the shots are a little shorter and I've added transitions like crossfades and fade-ins. I've also added the background music, Stereolab's "Percolator," since KFP loves Stereolab. For the portions I've spoken, I've played with the color and tinting, alternating between regular video, a "film" setting, one with super saturated tinting, an outline version, and black-and-white. The idea was to capture the dreamlike nature of what he might imagine while he sleeps.
The video begins with a shot of me walking down the street. I say, "Advice for my sleeping son. Take chances." Cut to two boys riding down the street, one of them on a motorized scooter and one of them doing a wheelie on his bike. Cut to me again, walking. I say, "Too many things that are easy are not worth doing, and too many things that are worth doing are not easy." Cut to a shot of feet walking along a brick sidewalk and then asphalt. Cut to a shot from the perspective of me pushing the baby carriage, with the top of the carriage visible above sidewalk as we move. Cut to me saying, "Listen to the ice cream trucks you pass" as an ice-cream truck plays its music behind me. "And stop sometimes to get some ice cream, because you never know where the day will take you." Pan over to the road, as the ice-cream truck drives by.
Cut to a shot of the stroller, seen from the side, being pushed down the street. Cut to a shot of some lawns and steps as we walk by them. Cut to me, saying, "Pay attention to your dreams, for they are as real as the things you see when you're awake." Cut to a shot zooming in on a blue and orange lawn decoration shaped like a butterfly, as children scream and laugh. Cut to me saying, "The people that you see," and a slight pan to show two children running after the ice-cream truck, "pay attention to them, too. They matter as much as you do." Cut to a shot of my feet walking on a concrete sidewalk. Cut to me saying, "The animals do, as well." Cut to a shot zooming in on a blue jay, who is shrieking in a tree. Cut to a shot of a Nutter Butter crawling with a swarm of ants. The blue jay is audible in the background.
Cut to me saying, "We live on a big globe, a living, breathing world of interconnected beings, some of which you will never understand, some of which you will never see but you might hear and you can imagine." Cut to a shot zooming in on a flowering bush with balls of violet blooms. A truck driving by is audible. Cut to me saying, "Imagine anything you want, and follow through on the things that you imagine." Cut to a close-up shot of KFP sleeping. Cut to me, saying, "You can never go wrong by trying. And you will only succeed if you do what you know you can do, to the best that you can do it." Cut to an orange and yellow leaf amidst a sea of green leaves.
Cut to me saying, "Sometimes you won't win. Sometimes you won't even know what winning is." Cut to a close-up shot of a peaceful KFP, looking out of his stroller at something unseen while birds sing. Cut to me saying, "But the most important thing is that you try." At this point, I look very serious, as if imagining all the challenges that might await my son. "I know you. I know that you will try. " Once more, I smile. "And that is what really, really matters." Cut to a final shot of KFP in his stroller, looking peaceful. I ask him, "Did you have a nice nap?" and then pan away to show the green field surrounded by trees which he has been contemplating.
This is the sort of advice I'd like to fill his mind with, as he sleeps or as he wakes. I want him to be imaginative and brave. I want him to explore and learn. I want him to take chances and believe in himself. Hopefully, I can set an example for him of how to do all those things.
For those who would prefer to watch the original video, which doesn't have the background music or the visual effects, I've embedded it below.