Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It has been my general experience that the things you think will be a good idea for activities to do with kids... aren't. Take the annual getting of the tree, for example. Tears. Every time there are tears. Who cries when they get a tree?? That is not how it looks in the pictures, nor the movies. People are happy. Smiling. It's all good. Not my clan. Someone has cold fingers. This year, there was also a scuffle over who was going to hold the saw. Sadness.

But last night was the exception to that rule. Last night was winter solstice - the longest night of the year - and the full moon - and, to top it all off, there was a lunar eclipse. I tried not to hype it up...so many things could get in the way. But as it turned out, it was a perfectly clear night and the moon was high in the sky. We went over to Chris' house around 7 and ate some dinner. The kids played without incident for a couple hours, then outside we all tromped and lit a big bonfire (not without a lot of artificial substances and a few rule-breaking incidents, mind you) and gazed upward. I didn't know how long the kids would last, given the late hour and the single-digit temperatures. But as it turned out, they did just fine. The eclipse started, the kids noticed, even wowed at it, and chased sparks like puppies chasing butterflies. Snowball fights erupted. There was much throwing of sticks into the fire. Neighbors stopped by with binoculars. The eclipse got more intense, covering half, then almost all of the moon. The moon turned rosy red. The stars came out. It was beautiful. There were periodic shouts of "look at it NOW". At the very end, Thea pooped out and went inside, but that was maybe 11 p.m. so all in all we all managed very well. And I think, maybe, just maybe, it will be one of those memorable moments in Liam's life. I still remember a solar eclipse from when I was maybe six or seven. It's an amazing thing. But nothing like this. This was beyond that. It was a night to remember.

1 comment:

Anika said...

I remember a solar eclipse from some point in my childhood. Mum and Dad and I folded a wad of negatives over each other and used that to see the eclipse. Not sure how damaging that was to my sight, but I was amazed.

I am with you on the Christmas trees. I clearly remember the annual 'Christmas Tree Fight': Dad suggested ones I thought were scraggly or ugly, Finn just wanted to get the one closest to the house so we could get it over with, Mum would go along with whatever anyone else wanted, and I guess I must have been 'picky', though I saw it merely as 'having high standards' and not wanting to settle for some mediocre tree. It seemed like we always came out of the woods cross with each other. Inevitably though, once it was inside and the decorations hung, that ugly scraggly crappy tree was transformed into something beautiful and awe-inspiring, even infused with magic, or so it seemed.