Last night I wanted to stay awake till it got dark. Why? Because I wanted to see Venus and Jupiter getting close to each other! How did I get so interested in planets? All thanks to my children. When my son was young and when I was tired and I didn’t know what to tell him, I would just hold him and talk randomly. Trust a tired mother to do that! Many nights sitting out on the swing in the balcony in my parent’s house and waiting for him to fall asleep I would blabber stuff just to keep myself awake! One such thing was the names of the planets. There were other things like the names of the months, days of the weeks, some nursery rhymes, etc. But somehow the planets seem to have attracted him more.
When he started talking he loved to say the planet names and slowly I realised that he was very interested in the planets, the sun, stars, etc. Over the years, we have made many trips to planetariums and in the process I have learnt a lot from them. When I was a child I used to lie on the terrace at night many times looking at the sky wondering about those stars but I had never once thought beyond that. Now my children and homeschooling put together have got us on a planet watch! We love star gazing and we also try and spot the Space stations! Thanks to NASA for sending us emails telling us when we can spot them.
We have print outs with the constellation names. We talk about constellations and how we can spot them. The only one that I have learnt to spot so far is Orion! But that hasn’t stopped me from trying. On clear nights when we can see the stars we try and see how many constellations we can spot and how many planets we can spot. Maybe for his next birthday I should get my son a little telescope!