I was hoping it was a dream, but deep down (way, WAAAAAAAAY down) I knew it wasn’t.
I peeked at the clock with one eye. Hey, I thought 4:15 only happened in the afternoons . . .
I wanted to go back to sleep, but that desire was soon squelched by my son, who started shaking me and DEMANDING that I remove myself henceforth from my bed and get up.
“Dad. It’s time to get up. We’re going to miss the eclipse.”
Did I really agree to this?
It seemed so reasonable the night before. You know, at that hour between 8 and bedtime when you’ve still got stuff to do, but you’re not so wiped out. That time between being a parent who can still sign a pile of school papers, but you haven’t quite hit the point where you can’t tell the difference in ironing a dress shirt or the cat. (I finally figured it out when I never could get the wrinkles out of the cat. But at least now his fur has a luxurious sheen.)
So there you have it. It was a problem of my own creation. Like they said, I had made my bed, now I had to lie in it . . .
Except in this case, I couldn’t lie in it even though I wanted to.
The next words I heard made me realize I was in this for real. “I’ll be waiting outside for you,” said my son, as he dashed out of the room.
Outside? Now why is he going outside at this time of day again? Oh, yeah . . .
So like a slimy snail, I kind of oozed over the side of the bed until I found myself on my feet.
I made my way outside, and there was my son, waiting anxiously for me . . . and the eclipse.
The moon was full, and it made for an incredible sight, even at that awful hour.
There were a few low clouds, but nothing that got in our way for a while. We gazed up at the sky filled with stars on this night. And we talked while we waited for the eclipse.
I can’t remember now exactly what we talked about. But it wasn’t the subject that mattered. It was the two of us, sharing an experience.
The eclipse was good. We watched it. ALL of it. It really was remarkable. I’m not sure if I’ve ever watched an eclipse all the way through before. But even if I did, it wasn’t as memorable (obviously) as this time.
It was a special morning for me. For my son too, I hope. It was the kind of occasion that we’ll share – and remember – for a lifetime.
Looking back, I guess getting up that early wasn’t so bad after all. We both had fun, got to share a special time together, and saw something that by every scientific definition can only be described as “really cool.”
In fact, I wouldn’t mind sharing an eclipse with my son again. Only next time, I’m going to hope for the solar variety.