I love that my four year old lectured me the other night about "staying up too late". We broke his bedtime and took him to the see the starry night in the mountains at a National Park a couple hours away. He loved it, but said it was "too late" for him to stay up. Last year, we kept him "out late" to go play mini golf and this year it was taking a drive a couple hours away, waiting for the sun to set (even though the earth rotates away at about 850 miles an hour it feels like it takes forever with an impatient four year old). As the sun set, there were some astronomers nearby who had telescopes (which I wanted to keep calling microscopes because I look into microscopes on a daily basis to see a different kind of "majesty".
My son got to look through the telescope for the first time and the astronomers even had a step stool for him! We also all thought it was awesome to be able to see Saturn, complete with rings. Staring up at the starry sky, something that is not easily done in our urban setting (If you look into the sky you see planes and helicopters). Initially, my son was reluctant to lean back and look at the sky, he was more fascinated with the flashlight. I think the telescope kind of roped him in (and his mom and dad as well). To think that each light that we saw in the sky was another star or celestial feature that could hold even more planets, and even more galaxies outside our galaxy- it was magical. My son began talking about light years and rockets and all sorts of things from his imagination Once my son decided to lay down (I think he was worried about getting his hair wet or dirty in the grass) he snuggled up against me and we just whispered and stared at the sky. I could tell he was getting tired, over two hours past his bedtime after a very busy day with no nap. I whispered to him, "It's ok to close your eyes and go to sleep beneath the stars". It was not long after that I heard the snoring begin. I kind of laughed to myself. There's this infinite possibility and magical-ness in the universe. Yet, I think there was also an infinite possibility and magical-ness of the little guy snoring next to me. I had been tripping up on the words "telescope" and "microscope" the whole night and I realized, one is the forest and one is the trees and both the macrocosm and microcosm are such blessings and fill us with such awe. All we have to do is step aside from our busy lives and fall asleep beneath the stars occasionally.