On my way home from work yesterday I heard on the radio that there would be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness a spectacular meteor shower with the potential for hundreds of shooting stars per hour. The peak time to view the spectacle would be between 2 and 4 am.
I’ve always wanted to see a shooting star, so I decided I’d wake up at 3 am to try and see my very first one. I told the kids about “Camelopardalids,” and asked if they wanted to wake up early with me to watch for the meteor shower. It’s always a struggle getting them up for school at 6:30, so I was doubtful that they would want to be woken up at 3 on a Saturday. When they all three said they would wake up with me, I warned them that if they fussed or complained, I wouldn’t keep trying to get them out of bed. To my great surprise, when the alarm went off at 3, all three kids leapt out of bed, ready to go.
Still in our pjs, we drove to the lake in our neighborhood and watched until 4 am. We shivered in the dark, craning our necks to look up at the night sky. We didn’t see hundreds of showers, maybe just three or four…five at the most. Today’s articles are widely reporting that the highly-touted meteor shower was a dud. At 4 o’clock, we drove back home and we all went back to bed.
When I woke up again at a more decent hour, it seemed like it might have all been a dream. But when I met the kids at the breakfast table, they grinned as they remembered seeing the shooting stars.
“It was so awesome!” they said.
I got to see a shooting star, something I’ve always wanted to do. But what I’ll remember most of this once-in-a-lifetime occasion is the weight of my daughter on my lap in the cold dark hours of the morning, the cries of surprise and delight each time we spotted a shooting star, and the feeling that we had shared something miraculous together.
Was it worth it? Absolutely.