Yes. We are that crazy family.
Daddy and grandma took off work. We loaded 12 people (including grandparents and Uncle Josh) into my 15 passenger van with no air conditioning in August and drove the 4 hours away to see the eclipse.
Actually, we drove two hours, toured a cool WWII LST in Evansville, IN. Spent the night, got up at 4am and drove another 2 hours to be on site by 7:30am to spend 2 minutes and 40 seconds watching the totality of the eclipse that afternoon. We spent hours with a toddler, a 6 year old, 5 other children, a man in a wheelchair, and the rest of us nut jobs in a grassy lot at a church 4 hours from home so we could see the totality.
We then spent 9 hours trying to get home in the craziest traffic of all time with no air conditioning, cranky children and even crankier adults.
And we would do it again in a heartbeat.
We would totally do it again.
Some people think we are crazy. And we are. The next one, in 7 years, is coming like directly over my house. I can watch it from my yard. I’ve heard it called a “once in a lifetime experience”. Then other people say, well, not really because after all it is happening again in 7 years.
But for us, for that moment, it was a once in a lifetime experience.
I am a stay at home, homeschooling mom. And this year is the last one, the very last one, where I will have 7 minor children. Next year my oldest turns 18. And while I hold the power of his diploma in my evil little hands (so I know he isn’t going anywhere just yet), I cannot deny the truth. I have a 2 year old and a 17 year old. And my days of making memories with all 7 of them as a “family” are extremely numbered.
In 7 years when the next eclipse comes, I will have only 3 minor children. My fourth child will have just turned 18. My third will be turning 20. My two oldest will be 23 and 24. I may have sons or daughters inlaw. I may have grandchildren.
For my family, this was a once in a lifetime experience.
That moment, when the sun totally disappeared and I heard several of my children, and my father-in-law, say “this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen”, in that moment, I knew we had done the right thing.
My littles may never remember, but they will always hear from the bigs what an amazing experience it was.
Some things cannot be explained, they must be experienced. This was one of those moments as a mom that I experienced the deep joy of knowing my kids were moved deeply by the greatness of God and His great creation.
It doesn’t have to be an eclipse. But my dear friends, I urge you. Please. Realize you are experiencing once in a lifetime moments all the time. Mommas. I know you don’t need to be told. I know you don’t WANT to be told. But your moments to make these memories are so short. Take a few snapshots to remind you, then put down the camera and soak in your life. Take your kids to the fair. The park. The drive in. Make memories. But soak in the moment. Breathe it in. Fill your lungs with the moments of life that matter.
Spend less time making things look perfect. Spend less time scrapbooking your life. Spend more time living your life and absorbing your kids.