The buildup for the eclipse had been building up all summer, and we were more susceptible than most.
It had all the elements for an event that we would enjoy: the sun, the moon, staring longingly at the sky. Oh, and some really gnarly sun glasses that I thought were broke because I couldn’t see ANYTHING with them on.
My son and I began talking about the eclipse early in the summer, and just how cool and un-geeky it was going to be.
We talked about it. And we talked about it some more. And when we weren’t talking about it . . . well, we probably weren’t thinking about it during those times.
But as the eclipse drew nearer, we worked up a plan. It seemed very simple: I would check him out of school, we’d go to lunch, then watch the eclipse.
Simple, right? A nice father-son afternoon, playing hooky and eating non-school-cafeteria food and everything
Except for one small problem.
After I picked him up from school as we drove to the restaurant, there was one looming thought on my son’s mind:
“If I miss school this afternoon, will I be breaking the law?”
I was stunned. But before I could answer, he launched another question. “I’m not going to get in serious trouble am I?”
I could picture it now. We’re sitting in the restaurant, when suddenly a swarm of police cars surround the building. A SWAT team in full gear busts the door. “Down on the floor!” They scream. “Don’t move! DON’T! MOVE!!”
Then they would escort my son, hands cuffed behind his back, shove him into the back of the squad car, and race off to police headquarters.
Keep in mind, that when I was a kid, I thought it was totally acceptable (and yes, perhaps even expected) to miss school for something as mild as a mosquito bite.
We enjoyed an assault-free meal, then headed to my office. After worrying about rain all weekend, we were treated to sunshine and mild temperatures (a rarity in Arkansas in the middle of August).
We weren’t in the area with the full eclipse, but we did get about 90 percent. And it was even better than I thought. Of course, I’m not really sure what I expected, but the actual event surpassed that.
My daughter and her boyfriend joined us before it was over. It was one of those family events that you look back on fondly, and say “remember when . . . ”
It was an afternoon I’ll treasure for a long time. It was perfect all the way around – even if we did have to lay low from the law.