Total Eclipse of the Kid

The moon has just disappeared.  What an awesome occurrence!  I am typically up very early.  However, on this morning, I have company.

Hubby loves an eclipse.  The older kids find it fascinating.  They have all found it a worthy reason to get out of bed early.  It is true that Savannah wasn’t so easy to convince.  However, a hearty “the moon is disappearing!” from yours truly did the trick.

Watching the moon disappear, seeing it totally gone, and knowing it would soon reappear reminded me of everything I have ever heard about raising children.

I watched them outside.  The funny part was they weren’t sure if it was night or morning, yesterday, today, or tomorrow.  They were very interested in the moon at times, in shadow play at others.  The fact that everything is louder when it is quiet and some folks were still sleeping was lost on them.  It took a minute for them to adjust their normal volume – which happens to full out.

To me, the best part of the eclipse is not when the moon disappears, but when the shadow does. There is a newness about it. A warm feeling of a promise fulfilled. A realized expectation. This wonderful excitement is both welcomed and cautioned in my thoughts. Especially when it comes to my children. I wonder how true to form my experience will be the first time, then the second, and third, then fourth.

I am nervous about the times when the young people I thought I knew will disappear.  I am concerned about the shadows that will inevitably come into their life.  I am interested if it will be as rare for them as it is the moon.  I hope it will be as fast.

I am not looking forward to the days when the brain aliens invade my children and turn them into raging hormonal teenagers that desire nothing more than to find all the ways that I am wrong.  But, I suppose those shadows are essential for the process of breaking free.  I can only hope that they occur on a designated day, with plenty of warning, between the hours of 5 and 7 AM.

I am looking forward to the time when they emerge – new and confident, bright and alive.  I hope it is all they want it to be and that I am a competent guide.


  1. No matter how old they get, they’ll always be your cute perfect little children trying on your shoes. It’s OTHER peoples’ kids that have behavioral issues. 🙂

    Beautiful imagery, you always keep me hooked!

  2. I stayed up to try to catch a glimpse but I never did manage to see it. Made it till 2:00 am. Was kinda light the entire nigh outside through.

  3. Lani – may I never be that parent 🙂 They drive me crazy!


    Friend of mine today told me she liked it too…then went right into a rant about “that other girl is so funny!” You’re a hit with the GA crowd!

    Derek, sorry you missed it. We did it the other way…went to bed and I woke hubby up at four and the kids around five…they were all real excited which is rare for my house at that hour 🙂

  4. omg you’re full of it April, but thanks for the ego stroke 🙂

  5. It was cloudy at my house, so we missed out on seeing it 🙁

    You will never be that “other” parent. You’re too cool for that. And you’ll always remember what you put your mom & dad thru…and pray it doesn’t come back on you!!

  6. Lani – no ego stroking from me…that would imply that I like you 😉

    Jeanie – hey now! I was the “good kid.” Well, mostly…

  7. April, I have two teens at the moment and can remember vividly being where you’re at – thinking about them being teens, but in some way always wondering whether others exaggerated about how horrible the teenage years would be. After all, I wasnt horrible as a teen! And I could never imagine these bright, happy, beautiful children being anything but…

    Now, the aliens have descended… we went through puberty twice in one year (heck, that WAS a year!) and no, it isn’t as bad as some people make out it will be. Our children dont turn into aliens… they just have moments where they cross to the dark side.

    Your imagery about the shadow is just beautiful. It is what happens… a shadow passes across the face of the moon, and the child. Sometimes it lasts 30 seconds, sometimes 3 days… but the shadow always passes and the moon shines clear and bright upon us all again. I’m going to remember that from now on – your imagery coupled with my favourite coping phrase – “This too shall pass”.

    Thank you.

  8. Karen, I’ll tell you, I feel I can make it through almost anything. But, this idea of my kids moving through young adulthood – wow! I agree with you that “this too shall pass.” But, when it comes to my babies, I just wish I knew a way to take it for them…

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