A Good Excuse For A Moon Pie

by Stefani on 20-February-2008

I must have been about the age that my oldest son is now, about 6 or so. My parents used to layer folded quilts to make a “bed” in the back of our Toyota Corolla. It was a hatchback, so I could lay on my back and just stare and stare into the heavens as we made our way to my Granny’s house.

I don’t remember wether it was late at night or before dawn that we started our journeys, but it seemed that our trips always began under cover of darkness. To me, it was delicious. Cozy. Snug.

“I see the moon, and the moon sees me.
God bless the moon and God bless me.” I whispered to myself, watching streetlights pass above me in steady rhythm.

I used to imagine the sky as a giant piece of black construction paper, with pinpricks made in it. I wondered if God peeked through the holes. I wondered if He could see our little car speeding down the highway, and the little girl inside staring back up at Him.

Even a child looks at the night sky and knows that it means something. Something grand. Something larger than understanding. And even a grown mama can be made to feel like a little girl again when she looks up at that big moon.

So, yeah, I was pretty excited when I began to see a backseat trend emerging.

“Mama how come you can see the moon in the daytime?”
“Mama how come the moon changes?”
“Mama how far away is the sun?”
“Is the sun the hottest star?
“How come Pluto isn’t a planet?”
“Just what makes a star shoot?”
“Why is it cold in the winter and hot in the summer?”

All questions fired up to the front seat during one recent night drive or another.

It is clearly time to make a study of the stars and planets and such.

I had planned to spend this evening watching the lunar eclipse, eating moon pies in honor of the ocassion, and making plans with my guys for projects and research into our solar system.

Alas, it’s too cloudy to see the eclipse. Thwarted!

So, instead, we took turns creating our own eclipse in the bathroom mirror. The flashlight is the sun, the orange is our home planet, and the reflection of the flashlight in the mirror is the moon.

Indoor Eclipse

Not quite as awe inspiring as the real thing no doubt was, but a good enough show to merit a moon pie and milk chaser.

I’m pretty sure that we’re going to be stuck on this journey into space for some time, so stay tuned.

Also, thanks so much for your family movie suggestions! We have lots of new titles added to our Netflix queue now!

Can you guess the movies that are currently en route to us? “Flight of the Navigator” and “The Explorers,” of course!

Sarah Jackson February 20, 2008 at 8:21 pm

That’s a fine substitute! We saw part of it and then the clouds overtook it. But we also had a lightening show in the west while we watched the moon in the east. All kinds of action this evening!

Wendy February 20, 2008 at 8:55 pm

It’s too cloudy here, too, dern-it.

tania February 20, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Hannah searched for the moon to be somewhere peaking out from the clouds and she was finally successful…she was amazed and in awe…it was a great event for her..

Pippa February 20, 2008 at 11:23 pm

We woke up just in time to see the last bit of the earth’s shadow cover the moon, like a huge pomegranate it looked, and then the clouds hid everything.

It was a blessed gift, this one window of opportunity through the window of trees! Wonderful!

Mandi February 21, 2008 at 3:34 am

“Good Job on making your own Lunar eclipse”this from my kids Riley and Bella. We got to see part of it , but fell asleep at the end. Darn it!

Mandi February 21, 2008 at 3:36 am

“Good Job on making your own Lunar eclipse”this from my kids Riley and Bella. We got to see part of it , but fell asleep at the end. Darn it!

Jonna February 21, 2008 at 4:07 am

It was a clear, frigid night in our corner of the world, and we had a perfect view of the entire thing. (not to rub it in) lol

spacey movies? star wars, of course!

Lori February 21, 2008 at 5:59 am

stef, there is a fantastic book called “Moon Journals: Writing, Art, and Inquiry Through Focused Nature Study”. i know you would *love* it. you should try to get it from the library and check it out.

we’ve done it with a group of kids and it was a huge success. the kids keep a moon journal and observe the moon .. i can’t get into all of it, but it’s great, and now is a great time of year to do it because it gets dark early enough! :^)

heather February 21, 2008 at 6:25 am

the eclipse was clear here in the northeast last night and so beautiful to see. soulepapa captured some beautiful shots. your boys are so inquisitive – and i’m sure that’s inspired by a mama who is so encouraging and supportive. it’s really cool to observe.

Mariss February 21, 2008 at 8:53 am

Too bad about the clouds! Although, what a great experiment. I have fond memories of my mom waking us up to look at the lunar eclipses growing up. It was great to catch it last night too (in Philly).

Don’t forget “Space Camp” — or maybe when he’s a little older. We watched that movie and Flight of the Navigator constantly!

joetta maue February 21, 2008 at 1:57 pm

i bought the book “Stars a new way to see them”, by HA Rey (he is the curious george guy) on a trip in Maine. it is a great but simple book that maps the sky for children. Perhaps it would be a good one for you to check out.
books.google.com/books?id=s4arAQAACAAJ&dq=inauthor:HA+inauthor:Rey&ei=H_O9R_X1I4LusgPRrq2MBQ

The memory of the orange and flashlight will no doubt outlast the memory of an eclipse.
Lovely writing…..

Jade February 21, 2008 at 6:57 pm

I love your childhood story! Sounds like a great evening even without the moon!

kcb February 22, 2008 at 7:52 am

Great homemade eclipse idea.

When I was a little girl I was convinced that the moon followed me home like a puppy on night drives from my aunt’s ranch back to my house. It did, right?

LaurenC February 24, 2008 at 3:58 am

Lunar Eclipses are one of my favourite celestial events to see….such a shame they are rare. Though that does make them so much more exciting doesn’t it?

Oh…and Flight of the Navigator. That movie is fantastic. I love it. A good flashback to my childhood. When I found it on DVD I had to have it. Enjoy.

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