"Mom, can you stay up 'til midnight with me tonight?"
"Dude, you have an early baseball practice. I can't stay up late with you because YOU won't be staying up late."
"Oh." (And that "oh"? Sounded like the most dejected and heartbroken "oh" in the history of "ohs".)
And so I stopped for a second, and did what I should have done when he first asked me the question.
"Why do you want to stay up 'til midnight with me, anyway?"
"There's supposed to be a meteor shower tonight, and my teacher says it's gonna be at midnight."
"Is this a school assignment?"
"No. I just thought it would be cool, and wanted you to watch it with me."
And that was how I found myself sitting in a lawn chair at the end of my driveway a few nights ago, leaning as far back as I could to see as much of the night sky as I could. Enjoying the cloudless, star-filled night with my baby who's struggling to decide if he wants to grow up or stay my baby. We debated the brightest stars (were they planets or space stations?), we speculated on the blinking stars that seemed to be moving in odd patterns (UFOs, naturally), and we even saw a shooting star or two.
I'm not sure if we missed that meteor shower, or if Bug just misheard the teacher. But I am sure that I am thankful for the reminder that sometimes priorities and rules need to be adjusted.
Watching the stars at midnight with your growing-up-too-quickly son is one of those times.