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.
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!