I caught the edge of the sunrise a couple days ago. The snow was glowing pink and gleaming orange. I went to the blinds and peeked through the slats up towards the sky, muttering to myself, “red sky at morning, sailors at warning.”
I rarely catch the sunrise or sunset these days. Not for lack of being awake during the gloaming hours, instead I’m generally busy caring for one of my two daughters: breastfeeding, fixing the seventeenth snack of the day, changing a diaper, adjusting clothes or shoes or socks, helping find a lost toy, or making sure the little one hasn’t crawled herself into a corner. Or cooking dinner.
I spend so much time looking down at my children, caring for their needs, watching them learn about their world, that I have limited time to observe the world above my eye level.
I miss the sky.
I miss stars.
I miss being able to go out at 3 in the morning to watch a meteor shower.
I miss the deep blue sky of a clear day.
I miss the sunrise.
I miss sunsets.
I can’t see any of it from our house, we live along a creek bank with tall trees, good for many things but not sky watching. And I never open the blinds in my bedroom—something I’d have cringed at before having children—I have to leave them closed so my daughter can eat and sleep without distractions.
When I’m outside, I’m often watching to make sure that the little person holding my hand is doing what she needs to do to keep up. Or I’m taking the time out to let her explore her world.
“Plane” was one of my 3 year old’s first words. Sooner or later she will look up and see the plane, and ask me about that cloud.
She discovered the moon a while ago and if it’s in the sky we find it if we are out. Soon she will ask about the stars, and I’ll be able to teach her about constellations and the planets we can see.
I’m so hungry for the time when I get to rediscover the sky through the eyes of my daughters.
We’ll skip school and work just so we can see the Leonids. We’ll camp out away from the streetlights and bask in the Milky Way. Maybe I’ll see my first green flash holding the hands of my daughters.
In the meantime, I’ll be patient. I catch the edge of the sunrise occasionally, and even the edge of god’s paintbrush inspires awe. The gift is waiting for me, god relentlessly renews the opportunity for us to wonder at creation each day.
I look forward to watching the skies through my daughters’ eyes.