Every year, I make a calendar composed of the previous year's pictures and adventures. One of the really cool thing about Shutterfly is that they let you customize your calendar events. You can add birthdays, anniversaries-- really anything that you want to keep track of. So in the ones I make, we have the phases of the moon and the meteor shower schedule for the upcoming year.
For the last 3 years, at various times of the year, I take my little boys out to lay on the back of my car and we gaze up at the night sky. Sometimes, it's just to watch the moon rise. Sometimes, it's to name the constellations I recognize and tell them stories about them. And sometimes, it's to try to catch the meteor showers.
On Monday, at 8 at night, both of my boys dressed in their jammies and ready for bed, I had them bundle up in their winter clothes and grab a blanket, then we headed outside. In the 30 degree weather with 10 degree windchill, I laid a blanket down on the back of my car then put my kids up and joined them in the middle.
We lay in the crisp cold air staring at the sky and waiting for eyes to adjust.
I have to admit, I love taking these moments with my boys. We snuggle. We talk about their days. We talk about the moon and the stars, the planets and passing planes. We tell stories about where the passengers are headed and make up constellations of our own.
And then my children started pointing and 'oohing!' at the night sky. My 8 year old was the first to see a shooting star. Each of them saw 2 in the 15 minutes we lay there before it got too cold to stay. And being a school night, I wasn't going to bring them back out during the recommended time between 11 and midnight, so we headed in to our bedtime rituals of hugs and kisses and stories and songs before my boys dropped right off to sleep.
Now I have to admit, I didn't see a single one of the shooting stars that my boys did. So at 10, just before I got ready for bed, I grabbed a mink blanket and went to lay on the back of the car by myself.
I saw 7 in the fifteen minutes I was out there. I had several 'ooh!' moments of my own and briefly considered waking my boys up to look out the window when there were more, but decided they needed the rest more than seeing more shooting stars.
The reason I was only out there for fifteen minutes isn't because I was getting too cold. (lol) I was actually starting to fall asleep because I was nice and cozy in that blanket! But I figured sleeping on the back of the car in dropping temps was pretty far on the stupid scale so I hopped off and headed in (;
All in all, my boys very much enjoyed this December's Geminid Meteor Shower and we're looking forward to the lunar eclipse that will be happening on the 20th/21st (: