Good Mom Eclipses Race Mom – Redeux

22 May

This was actually yesterday’s post. I wrote and published it, but while I was writing a post for tomorrow, something went pear-shaped (a British expression used to indicate that something has gone horribly wrong with a person’s plans). I lost the post. I don’t save my posts anywhere but here, so I thought it was gone for good until I mentioned it to a friend (ollo, Shannon!) and she said, “Oh – I read that on my e-mail this morning.”

What? There’s a copy out there? Hooray! She forwarded it to me and here it is.


Last week I decided to try my hand at good parenting so I got all science-y and made plans to view the annular solar eclipse with the fam. I went on Amazon and found some cheap solar viewing glasses and had great intentions of ordering some, but I forgot. Our local bookstore/science store ordered some but they sold out before the glasses even arrived. Bummer. I learned that a local environmental education organization (PEEC) was hosting a viewing event at a local park and would have 100 pairs of free glasses.

I didn’t have high hopes for getting any of the free glasses, so on Sunday afternoon, we made pinhole viewers for each of the kids. I don’t understand how the viewers work, other than they keep you from burning the eyeballs right out of your skull by trying to look directly at the sun during the eclipse. My big girls are such girly girls that they both decorated their viewers with paper and markers. My son just wrote weird words on his Cheez-Its box. We also made a long-range pinhole viewer. I had no idea if any of these things would work, but at least we made an effort.


Pinhole viewers


Getting ready


Viewer humor

A friend knew we needed some glasses, so she gave us 2 extra pair from the 5-pack she had the foresight to order in time from Amazon, so I knew if we didn’t get the other freebies, at least we had these two pairs.

We got to the park half an hour before they were supposed to start giving out glasses and I was disheartened to see that there were already at least 100 people in line. I got in line anyway, though. Hope springs eternal, right?

Thankfully, the PEEC people were only giving out one pair per family, so we scored another pair of glasses. I figured 3 pair for the 6 of us would be great.

Kid #1 spent most of his time running around, spazzing out. #2 was the most interested in watching the progress of the moon across the sun, so she would switch from her pinhole viewer to glasses to the long-range viewer often. #3 declared the whole thing boring, and #4 made a friend on a neighboring blanket, toddling around with her until my kid whacked the other kid on the head with her cup of Kool-Aid. Apparently #4 has enough charisma to overcome her violent tendencies and the little girl came back and played after her tears had dried.

I’ve never seen an eclipse, so I didn’t know what to expect. At the peak of it, the sky didn’t go all black or anything, but the light did weird things. The sky wasn’t the soft light of dusk, but it was sort of orangey. Shadows lost their sharp edges and had ghosts – lighter shadows surrounding the darker ones.

A friend held her glasses up in front of her camera and took some pictures, so I did the same and got some interesting shots.


My attempt at solar eclipse photography with the camera phone


Blurry, but still cool. It’s dark because of the glasses. The sky wasn’t black.


Long-range pinhole viewer image

I think I’ve redeemed myself from the whole 5K thing.


2 Responses to “Good Mom Eclipses Race Mom – Redeux”

  1. Shasta May 22, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Bravo! Thank you!

  2. Kathy V. May 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    You are a good mommy.

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