These days we’re doing lots of things we thought we’d forgotten how to do. Like Breathe.
Last night we took out the telescope out, something we haven’t done in ages. We pointed it as Scorpius, then at the moon. I’ve looked at the moon through telescopes hundreds of times, but never like this. It was unbelievable. It brought back so many memories.
Since my husband and I are total dorks, we used to spend a lot of weekend nights on Harvard’s roof, using their ancient telescope. It’s about 12ft high, a real Galileo number from 1912. There’s not much astronomy that can be done on a telescope of it’s limited powers, that sits in the middle of the city, but you can look at the moon. And it’s beautiful. Sometimes we saw Saturn and its rings, sometimes we saw Mars. Sometimes the light pollution and pollution pollution and clouds all conspired and we could see nothing at all. When this happened, we would slew the telescope across the Boston skyline to spy on the office workers on the top floor of the Prudential. For the record, the Prudential peeps work very late on weekends, not like the employees of the John Hancock building’s top floors, who were never around. Slackers. Anyway, we had fun. It’s fun being up there. If I were still around Boston I’d bring all you Moms of multiples up there to party with me. We used to bring a lot of friends up there. Telescopes are fun.
Anyway, the moon was like I’ve never seen last night. I’ve never seen it that clearly, I mean, I could see everything. Every creator, every crack. It was astonishing. Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised it was that clear. That’s why we’re here after all. This is were the big telescopes are. This is where the air and atmosphere are so still and clear, and the skies so unpolluted that the stars don’t even blink.
So I stood in awe, and we talked about the moon. How it got that way. It’s mostly the fault of Jupiter and Saturn. In the early solar system, these planets got the wiggles. Jupiter moved in, Saturn moved out. There are very complicated reasons why, I won’t get into them. The point is they moved, and when they did, the asteroids from what would later become the asteroid belt came hurtling through space in wild, chaotic, unstable orbits and smashed into the moon. Hence the craters. This became known as the late, heavy bombardment. There was an early bombardment, but this was back when the solar system was just forming and everything was smashing into each other. Of course, the earth also got pounded equally hard, but we had plate tectonics and a crust constantly renewing itself (as evidenced by the lava spewing volcanoes on my island) so it was all smoothed out.
I promise I do have a point, though I realize I’m taking a really long time to get there. Now that the girls are 16 months, I feel like we’re emerging from our late, heavy bombardment. The first bombardment was everything happening at once. My husband being offered the job on this island, a job he’d interviewed for 6 MONTHS before the offer arrived, a job and a lifestyle we’d written off. He got the job, we got prego with twins, all in one month. Then the hits continued- adjusting to life in the middle of the Pacific, disastrous house buying attempts before it finally happened, pregnancy going haywire, medical emergencies culminating in me and in utero twinnies being med-evaced off this island to another with a fancy hospital and not leaving until 8 weeks later. That was the first bombardment. After withstanding that sucker, we thought we were ready for anything. We were wrong.
The second bombardment was much, much, worse. The being up all night, the crying, the exhaustion, the feeling that I was a miserable failure at motherhood and everything else in the world- much, much worse. But now, it’s a whole new universe. The girls run and laugh and play. They stuff their mouths full of meatballs and say funny words. They lay their little heads on my chest, and look up and smile at me. And they sleep. They sleep.
Suddenly we have the time, the room, to breathe. To linger over dinner. To snuggle down and watch a movie. To go outside and look at the stars with our trusty telescope. And the moon. To look at that moon with a whole new respect, because it too took quite a beating, but emerged wiser, stronger than ever.