“In the darkness I went outside/ I got to see the moon/ And I so happy/ And you are the greatest mom!”
Gotta love that song! All I had to do to earn that wonderful ballad was set up a telescope in the driveway during a rare clear night with a full moon. My younger daughter loves space and everything associated with it. To her, a few minutes outside after dark (and after her big sister had already gone to bed!) was amazing and wonderful. She was so excited about seeing the moon that she kept running back into the house trying to find other people to come out and see it – leaving me to guard the telescope of course. Squirrels can’t be trusted to not mess with science equipment. She found her grandmother first. “Nana, Nana! You want to see the moon? It’s outside!” She even tried to share her joy with our cat. “Guinness aren’t you so excited? Aren’t you excited about seeing the moon?” Of course, being four and having a bit of a speech delay (she’s multilingual and struggles a bit sometimes with English pronunciation), she couldn’t say “telescope” when she was trying to tell people/cats about what she was doing. That didn’t matter. Even calling it a “science scope” got the message across because her sheer joy was so contagious. We all couldn’t help smiling and each took a turn squatting to look through the “science scope” at the bright moon.
Of all the things I love about being a mom, this kind of experience is high on the list. Even though I was a Trekkie as a kid, I never really got into astronomy. That is a subject which is new to me, and my limited knowledge is almost all because of my daughter. Yup, everything I know about space I learned from a four year old. But it is so wonderful to be learning it this way! Finding out what my daughters like and running with it keeps every day interesting. I am learning new things, finding new joys that I don’t think I would have otherwise. I never knew how much fun standing in a driveway at night could be, or how thrilling seeing the moon could be.
I remember a conversation I had with another mom once while we were watching our kids’ hockey practice (my older daughter). She was saying she didn’t think her son would stick with hockey, and I asked why. He seemed to be enjoying himself and he was pretty good. It was because his father didn’t like hockey. She thought it would cause a gap between them as he grew up if because it wasn’t something his dad would be interested in sharing with him. She wanted him in baseball because that was his dad’s favorite sport. She was really worried about it. I couldn’t help feeling sorry for that family. The mom who wanted what was best for her son, wanted him to be happy and active and still have a good bond with his dad; the son whose father wouldn’t accept him if he didn’t conform to his father’s same likes; and the father who was going to miss out on so many new adventures because he wouldn’t vary from his own path to learn from his kids. I pointed out that neither my husband nor I had known anything about hockey before our daughter started playing. She chose it herself, and we are learning as we go. We love it now because she loves it. We try to see it through her eyes and that makes it exciting. We love it because it makes her so happy. Doing well out on the ice makes her just as giddy as seeing the moon through the telescope made her sister.
Parenting is such a wonderful, marvelous, delightful adventure – when we let our kids lead us away from our comfort zones. Who knows if my girls will grow up to become astrophysicists or professional hockey players, but in the meantime I am looking forward to adding to my own knowledge of those two areas and putting a few more awesome memories like that night's in my brain.
(pssssst.....don't forget to stop by my shop, too!)