Friday, December 14, 2012

Attention! Important!

"Attention! Important!" the outside of the folded sheet scotch-taped to the kitchen entrance door proclaimed.

Inside: "Mamma, meteor shower tonight. Wake me up. Your loving daughter, Mary"

Oh that Mary. It's so late and I'm so tired. And a ten-year-old needs her sleep more than she needs to get up in the middle of the night to see (or not see) a few shooting stars.

"Attention! Important!" the note on the second step of the stairway proclaimed.

Inside: "I'm serious. Wake me up. Meteor shower tonight."

She'll thank me in the morning for letting her sleep. Too many trees around the house and too close to the city lights to see any stars falling from the sky.

"Attention! Important!" the note in my bathroom sink read.

Inside: "Mamma, wake me up. I mean it. Big meteor shower tonight."

That Mary. Such a headstrong child. 

"Attention! Important!" the note on my pillow read. This one decorated with stars and a moon.

Inside: Mamma, meteor shower tonight. Wake me up. P.S. I love you."

Just let me slide into bed and fall off to sleep. I'm so exhausted... 

2:00 a.m.: wide awake. I tiptoe down the hall and into Mary's room. I wake her. Holding hands, we make our way down the dark steps, grab a blanket and slip out the door. We lay down on a chaise longue; her little long-limbed body on top of mine; my arms holding her tight. We look up to the dark sky. And there it was. The most magnificent meteor shower ever. Ecstatic memories in the making: ones that neither Mary or I will ever forget. Memories that we can dig up and reclaim through all the years of our lives.


In honor of that memory, I woke up last night at 2:00 and quietly left our bedroom, put on my puffy brown coat, my UGG boots, hat and mittens, and slipped out into the cold night. All around me was sky, dark everywhere but along the horizons which still carried the glow of lights from nearby towns and the mercury light of the dairy farm up the hill from us. From the corners of my eyes, I began to see them. Only a fraction of a second they lasted, streaking short distances before burning out. A dozen or so in only a few minutes. Then one, with a long tail, that burned across the eastern sky. A dazzling shooting star if ever there was one. And with that, I made a wish and headed back in.


  1. Love this - what a memory to cherish & what a photo from the present!

  2. Debbie: Sarah, my 16-year-old daughter, told me about the meteor shower yesterday and I brushed it off without a second thought. Now I wish I hadn't. What a great experience you now have!