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November 08, 2003

Me and My Baby View The Eclipse

Coming out of the grocery store tonight with my German Riesling and my French Red Table Wine, (yes I know. In my defence, I thought it was Italian. There's lots of Italians named Rene, right? As for the Germans, we made them into pussies. Why blame them for acting on their new nature?) I made sure to point out the newly risen moon to Ngnat. I emphasized the whiteness and roundness of the sphere above her, so when the time came, she'd be able to differentiate between Luna's appearance at the moment and how it was previously.

She asked what an eclipse was, when I told her we'd be seeing one later. I explained that the Moon was a big ball in the sky, as was the Sun, and that we lived on yet another ball in the sky, one that would look blue if she was up high enough to see it. I showed her the shadow of my hand on the back of the car seat in front of her, and explained that when where we lived came between the the moon and and the sun, that our shadow went over the moon, making it look red.

"Oh." She sat in silence for a second or two. "I like that."

I bet she would have liked the story of how the Sky Dragon eats it and the vomits it back forth even better, but for some reason that type of explanation never occurs to me until later. Ngnat is aware she owns a bagina and clidorast because of a similar conversation.

Once the eclipse started, we'd stop reading books and watching the taped football game every fifteen minutes or so to check on our shadow's progress. She'd had her bath and been changed for bed, so before we ventured out I would wrap her fuzzy Blue's Clues blanket around her, sarong-like, while she spun around with her hands in the air.

Other than totality, Ngnat was most impressed with the initial bite our penumbra cast across the moon's surface. After that, out we'd go to look at the moon for thirty seconds, then in we came, back to books and the embarrassment of Wake Forest.

We stayed out for totality, sitting in a chair I'd liberated from the confines of the deck so that it could run, or sit, rather, wild and free in the backyard. Ngnat reclined upon me and sucked her thumb while Luna hung like a giant orange cream in the sky to the east of us. I pointed out the Pleiades and Orion to her. She pointed out airplanelights to me. I told her that when Daddy was a little boy, just about her age, men had walked on the moon. It made me tear up, as it always does, the thought that we had that, and then threw it away.

Ngnat took her thumb out her mouth for a moment. "I'd like to walk on the Moon, Daddy," she said.

"Me too, honey." I told her. "Me too."

Posted by Bigwig at November 8, 2003 11:38 PM | TrackBack
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Great post, Bigwig.

Posted by: ronbailey at November 9, 2003 09:34 AM

That was downright Lileks, Wig. Lovely.

Posted by: Mrs. du Toit at November 9, 2003 06:47 PM
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