I have a habit of walking out my front door and down my driveway and gazing up at the night skies pondering what wonders the Lord has wrought. I am fascinated by the skies and the constellations. I try to discern from amidst the light pollution that floods my community as many celestial bodies as I can. I know Mars when I see it and Venus, too. I can point out the Pleiades and Orion and Cassiopeia. And I can easily spot the Big Dipper, although I have NEVER been able to find the Little Dipper.
I am not sure when this habit of mine formed. Most likely during those many nights of walking and cradling restless wee chicks in my arms; “Look…can you see the moon? When the moon is out it is night time. Do you want to go night, night? Say ‘night, night, Mr. Moon’.” And even now as those restless nights are getting fewer and farther between I sometimes find myself alone, gazing at the moon and the stars. Tonight was different though…I had company. Not the wakeful babe-in-arms kind of company. No, tonight my two eldest daughters joined me…and we searched the heavens together, my arms encircling their shoulders as I pointed out to them Saggitarius and Scorpius–two constellations I only just “found” this evening. My excitement apparently rubbed off on them for they ran inside to consult “Find the Constellations” and “The Stars” (both by H.A. Rey of Curious George fame) to see what else they could find.
It was one of those moments that makes my heart sing…surely if they attended school elsewhere this would not have happened–what reason would I have for owning the books I do on constellations and the night skies–they were all purchased our first year of home-schooling when the Boy was just a 1st grader and we decided to followthe recommendations from “The Well Trained Mind”. We’ve only briefly looked through them on occasion all these years…but tonight there was a connection made between my daughters and those books; they will be “friends” for life. And a connection was made between my daughters and me; something a bit different from mom the teacher and daughters the students. Something special and full of wonderment…and for that I am eternally grateful.

originally posted 9/1/07