You wore your new shirt, the one from Aunt Laura with your second-favorite constellation on it. Your little upturned face glowed blue with the reflected night sky projected on the domed ceiling above us. Eyes bright with excitement, you bounced in your seat.
Your first trip to the planetarium.
You were nervous that it would be too loud when the show started. I held your hand some, rubbed the top of your head in that spot where your cowlick swirls. You snuggled into my arm.
The presenter began the introduction, explaining what we would see and learn. You sat up very straight, poked me, shifted your weight in your chair.
“Actually,” you said, not quietly at all, “I already know nearly everything about space.”
Elmo and Big Bird sang “Twinkle, Twinkle,” and you sang right along with them, staring raptly up at their faces on the ceiling above you. You counted down with the cartoon rocket launch. You always answered the questions out loud. And when Elmo said “Elmo loves you!”, you said, “Aw, that’s sweet of him!”
You were game.
When the movie ended and the presenter showed us the night sky and started to point out constellations, you saw the one that looked like “W” and shouted out, “Cassiopeia! I know that already!”
She looked all around. “Who said Cassiopeia?”
Your confident hand shot up into the air. “I did!”
(Child game show contestants have nothing on you. Nothing.)
The other kids were funny, too…blurting out questions and comments that seemed too old for them. The boy on the other side of the room, the just-a-bit-older-than-you-boy, said, “Well, I don’t have a question, actually, it’s more of a fact to share, actually…”
You wanted to know why I was laughing, and I couldn’t tell you.
Actually, “actually” is your favorite word, my dear.
You were as delighted by the Big Dipper as you were by Elmo and Big Bird. I thought you might fall out of your seat when the presenter pointed out Orion with the laser pointer. Then you loudly whispered, “Rigel is a blue supergiant!” and you did fall out of your seat and hurt your arm.
You asked me to kiss it.
I’m going to be sad when you get too big for that.
Just don’t get too big to go to the planetarium with me, okay?