Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kicked out of bed


Chasing shadows
Deerfield Beach, FL, December 2010

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About this photo: We're sharing late-themed scenes all week long. Click here to share your own. It'll make you smile.
This wasn't my finest hour as a parent. We were on vacation in a warm, happy place, and I learned of an impending lunar eclipse. Since these are much more kid-friendly than the solar kind - the whole going-blind thing always scared me - I got it into my head that the kids should watch it.

Slight problem: I'd have to wake them up at an ungodly hour, like 4 a.m.-ungodly.

Much to my pleasant surprise, the boys insisted that I wake them up and haul them outside. So when the happy hour rolled around, I rousted myself out of bed with no fewer than three separate alarms, then quietly ushered them onto the front lawn for a celestial show.

As they stared at the strange scene of the moon with a chunk bitten out of it, we talked about the orbital mechanics that made this possible, the differences between lunar and solar eclipses - they liked the not-going-blind part - and the relative rarity of events like this. They were tired, of course, and soon trundled back inside for a few more hours of zees. But the buzz around the breakfast table later that morning confirmed the fatigue was worth the middle-of-the-night wakeup call.

Sometimes, it's worth losing sleep to see something special. Sometimes, I guess it pays to be a lousy parent.

Your turn: What interesting things have happened to you in the middle of the night?

14 comments:

geom said...

YI think the opposite, you are helping your children learn and grow. If their father was not as intrigued and curious about the world around him then that sense of awe and love of life long learning would be lost. Kudos to you.

srp said...

When Nyssa was young we went out on a really cold, cold Mississippi night with our sleeping bags and blankets and watched a meteor shower. Memorable indeed!

Max said...

The route of the Olympic Flame for the 2002 Winter Olympics took it right past my front door, with a change of hands 2 doors down. Right around midnight or so. I had the flu, a temperature of 101 F and planned on sleeping right through it. But as it came closer to time, I thought "There is no way I can miss this. Period." I got up, wrapped myself in 14 different layers, watched it and then spent the next 3 days in bed. It was worth it.

Dawn said...

Getting up to watch the meteor shower definitely is up there on my Top list!
I tried to drag my kids out of bed for that...I couldn't get mine to get up. How'd you do that?:))

Jason Fredin said...

Watching the International Spaced Station at least doesn't require getting up in the middle of the night. Visible passes are usually around dawn and dusk.
To find out when passes will be visible in your area go to twisst.nl and sign up, they will send you a tweet and tell you when and where the ISS is visible.
Because of them I caught the ISS and discovery flying past easlier this month.
ISS and Discovery on YouTube

Kalei's Best Friend said...

well back in 1994 at 4 am, we had an earthquake.. the northridge one, i know u are familiar w/it.. 6.9 that day/rather early morning... the sound was like a train coming together w/another.. yes, that is what an earthquake sounds like... and the crashing noise of things being tossed.. we learned alot about our neighbors. we all came together helping one another... on our street we had a electrician for the studios, fireman, my husband who knew about plumbing, neighbors who shared food, generator... it was a life lesson for everyone.

Danny said...
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Danny said...
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Titanium said...

Lousy parent? Never. These are the moments that kids remember for the rest of their lives- mostly because we take the time to include, inform and inspire them with something beyond the 'normal'.

The Gearheads said...

The call came at 2:00 that made me realize why we had moved into a duplex shared with my mother-in-law after her second husband had passed away. I hear "I'm bleeding, I need some help" with a fair amount of stress in her voice. I think I was dressed and out the back door before she had a chance to hang up. I went over there and her nose was bleeding, and she said it had been for close to an hour. I told her to get her shoes on, went over and told Mrs what was going on and that we were going to the hospital. She was relieved and concerned all in the same breath. We spent three hours at the Emergency Room and she incurred pain so bad I wouldn't wish it on most people I know. It all turned out ok, they got the bleeding stopped and she was released that morning, but that is a early morning experience I hope I don't have to repeat.

Titanium said...

Here's an example of a middle of the night escapade in Ti-Land.

Hope said...

You should be a lousy parent more often! How fun!!!! I missed the eclipse sadly...yer awesome!

Mama Zen said...

We saw the space shuttle fly over!

PJ said...

Far from a lousy parent to include them in moments like that! Sleep can be found again, eclipses make rare appearances.

Some of my favorite memories are from throwing a blanket on the summer lawn with my parents and siblings to watch the skies. Those quiet moments invariably turned to story telling, giggling and a race to see who could spot the next satellite first.