The day J was to return home, Wednesday, there was a lunar eclipse. I got the girls to bed early the night before, and set my alarm for the time the article I read recommended. The skies were going to be clear and I was very excited – the last several celestial events we’d had were obscured by weather.
Having read the eclipse would begin at 6:25, I set my alarm for 6:30 and got up at 6:45. I dressed and took morning meds and led Asia out into the brisk, clear dawn air at around 7:00. But… nothing. I saw nothing. I wasn’t sure in which direction to look, but doing a pirouette in the dew-slicked grass I could see there was clearly no burnished red disk, anywhere. My heart sank and I trudged back inside, back upstairs, under the covers with my warm sleeping daughters and their tangle of long limbs and hair. Before I dozed back off I sent mom a text, and she told me they’d seen the eclipsed moon just above the horizon from their second story west facing window at 6:15. Whether it had been a time zone issue or I read or remembered incorrectly didn’t matter. I’d missed it.
Wednesday night I took both girls to Drama Club, and when I went to pick them up, J got the call about the play. As soon as I heard his voice, while I was driving home, I knew something was wrong. J had gotten the role he’d auditioned for, the father, Bob. Only 2 other adult men had tried out, for 2 roles, so this wasn’t a surprise. The girls were going to be unnamed members of the Angel Choir. I had hoped, and once I set my mind to this I couldn’t shake the idea, to get the lead adult role, Grace, the mom and director of the Christmas Pageant. I thought I had a good chance. But I didn’t get it. And was shocked by how disappointed I felt. A friend, whose audition was also excellent, won the part and I struggled to be an example for X, who had hoped for a speaking role herself. But, having somehow pictured playing the lead as a triumphant re-introduction to healthy society, no matter that I could get sick and ruin the whole production, I was completely crushed.