Star Gazing Family Style

NGC 602

NGC 602 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the last week of summer, before school started, we reviewed our “Summer List.” This is something we make at the beginning of June in order to make the most out of Colorado’s short summer.

Most of the things on our list are pretty easy to accomplish: Go Swimming, Have a Picnic, Take a Bike Ride to Dairy Queen. Good stuff.

There are also more complicated items: Go to Oregon, Learn to Water Ski, Have a Sleepover. And we did most of these, but there was still one item remaining that the kids still really wanted to do: Sleep on the Back Deck.

And they decided that it should happen right away. So we gathered blankets, footie pajamas, mosquito repellent, beloved stuffed animals and flashlights and moved out. We really don’t like waking up with kinked backs, we even took the top mattress from everyone’s bed. Box springs would really be pushing it on the comfort meter, but the mattresses are a must.

At first there was one lone star. And we all said the poem and made a wish. And as the sky grew inkier, more stars popped until finally the full Milky Way glowed in its amazing mystery. The kids asked questions. Many questions. How big are the stars? How far away are they? Why is the moon bigger? Why is that one blinking and moving?

Snuggling under the stars (and an airplane or two), we answered as many of their questions as we could. And one by one we slowly drifted into our dreams.

And then only about thirty minutes after the last question had been asked and their breathing had slowed to a lazy and sweet melody, the cloud cover rolled in and the first raindrop hit. And another. And quickly our blankets were damp all over.

Stealthily, my husband and I hauled each limp, damp and dreamy child with their accompanying mattress, animals and blankets into the living room, kicking the coffee table out of the way.

And when they awoke in the morning, disappointed to find themselves inside, we promised, “Yes, we’ll do it again.”

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4 thoughts on “Star Gazing Family Style

  1. Great post – and what a lovely idea. Shame about the rain!

    Sadly there’s too much light pollution in London to see many stars; I find one of the great things about going back to Wales to visit my dad is the chance to look up at the night sky and see them in all their glory.

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