Happy Solar Eclipse Day! Did you look directly into the sun? I sure did. Because I live on the edge, people.
The first solar eclipse I remember was in the 2nd or 3rd grade. We were supposed to go on a field trip that day. No doubt somewhere incredibly cool and exciting and adventurous. Some place that would make us the envy of the whole school. But it was cancelled. Ugh. Is there anything worse? You can't imagine the disappointment. So instead of going to this incredibly cool place we had to go out to the park next to the school and eat our sack lunches*. My teacher explained the eclipse and then told us to not look directly into the sun. Now, I'm sure I loved my teacher. She was no doubt a brilliant educator. But I thought she was kind of dumb for thinking that she needed to tell us to not look into the sun. Of course I'm not going to look into the sun! You could go blind doing that! When we got to the field there were several upper grade classes viewing the eclipse through special glasses. I wanted to yell at them, "Do your really think those glasses are going to save your eye sight, you lunatics!? What kind of fool teacher do you people have?" I was, above all else, a rules follower. Plus, I was already suffering from the huge blow of not going on the field trip, I certainly did not want to add to that by losing my vision. So while the other kids in my class were roaming around the park, trying to wiggle their way in with the big kids to look through their glasses, I sat quietly in the grass, drinking my root beer and putting a pox on whatever it was that cancelled our trip.
Which is why this evening, as I stood outside in the shadowy light, I felt a slight pang of disappointment and a craving for root beer.
*Did your mom pack you a special lunch for field trips? Mine did. I had the same sack lunch every single day - peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, a juice box, and two of Mom's chocolate chip cookies (which were nothing to shrug your shoulders at.) But for field trips she would swap out the juice box for a can of A&W root beer wrapped in foil to keep it cool, and a bag of chips, usually Funyuns, because those were really exotic.