Stargazing with the kids

What I wish all my kids were doing right now--and, yes, that is Patrick asleep under a pillow.

I am sitting on my back stoop looking at the stars. The air is finally bearable on the skin. Only 30 minutes ago my younger three children were still rolling around in their beds, prickly and sleepless with the heat. Usually the cool has fallen by this time of night, nearly 11, and you almost need a sweater to sit outside, but not tonight.
It is breezy, though, which always helps, and the winds have swept most of the clouds away. Straight above my head hangs the Big Dipper (one of the few constellations I know.)
And I learn that my children are still not asleep. Jake appears at the screen door behind me. “Mom, PJ can’t sleep.” I don’t point out that obviously he can’t either. First I tell him to go to bed, but then I call him back. “Go get Maddie and Patrick and bring them out here,” I tell him.
Now we’re sitting out together, looking for shooting stars (Maddie says, “Sometimes your wishes comes true.” She’s still working on subject-verb agreement.) and blinking lights (“Maybe it’s a spaceship,” says Jake, and it feels like I’m bursting a bubble to tell him it’s probably just a plane, that we couldn’t see a spaceship.) PJ wants to know if he can see Jesus, and then they begin a very strange conversation/argument about Pluto. Patrick thinks Pluto is a dog and begins calling for him.
Maddie notices that her name is on my computer screen and begins giving suggestions. “Write down what I just said,” she tells me. She asks me to read her what I’ve written, and she pronounces it good. I like that girl.
Unfortunately I am far more tired than my children seem to be, and I know that Jake will still, despite the late night, wake around 7, and a long day of “Mom, can you…” will begin early. But this is what summertime nights are sometimes for, and even though I am really ready for PJ to show any sign of being tired, I am still thankful for this time.

2 thoughts on “Stargazing with the kids

  1. Oh, Jennifer, I read through your last few posts and loved seeing a slice of your life. You are a provocative, insightful writer and I am so glad I bookmarked your blog when you posted about it on Facebook. I am too undisciplined for a blog, but am encouraged to see all the Lord is teaching you.
    You may know of Jay and Cindy Jackson from Wales Goebel Ministries in Bham.. Their daughter Kara and her husband Ryan Lancaster have been in Chicago for maybe 2 years. She has a newborn daughter. If you feel the need to connect with some southern roots, look her up. She is quite involved with Child Evangelism Fellowship and is a precious girl.
    The only other blog I read regularly is Ann Voscamp’s A Holy Experience. You would appreciate her, I think, and LOVE her book A THOUSAND GIFTS. Just passing on the healthy bread- begger to begger.
    Greet all your family for me. I think of them and wonder how everybody is doing. Thanks for letting me connect a bit with a favorite former student. Too bad I can take no credit for your fine words.
    Blessings to you and yours,
    Linda Haley aka Miss Wilson

    • Hi Linda,
      Thanks so much for the kind words. It seems like when I write, I learn more about what God is currently teaching me–like He connects dots for me through writing. I don’t know Jay and Cindy (or at least don’t think I do), but I’ve heard of the Wales Goebel Ministries. Do you know where in Chicagoland Kara lives?
      Thanks so much for letting me know about Ann Voscamp’s blog and book. A Thousand Gifts is now on my Amazon wishlist! yeah!
      I still have fond memories of fourth grade with you! You helped me transition to SMCS, and I think I discovered that I loved to learn while I was in your class (and I discovered my competitive nature).
      Hope you and your family are doing well.

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