I was 8 the first time I saw a meteor shower.
We were camping in Vermont, on a trip that I remember very clearly, probably because Hurricane Bob interrupted it (a story for another time). It was mid-August, a fact I remember only because of Hurricane Bob and the fact that we watched the Perseids together. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I can still see our campsite in my mind. Our tiny little play tent, really, where my sister, then 3 and I slept. My parent’s tent next to ours, and across the site, our familiar brown and mustard yellow tarp over the picnic table (my dad hates the blue tarps with a passion). In front of our site, on the other side of the road was a large field with more, uninhabited campsites. Across that field were the bathrooms, and during the day I would go alone to the bathroom, but at night I would get confused and lost, and had to ask my parents for help.
One such night I woke my parents up, and my dad took me to the bathroom. My mom probably didn’t feel like getting out of the nice, warm sleeping bag, so dad and I headed across the field to the bathroom. On the way back, my dad and I stopped, and he pointed out the Perseids meteor shower, which was taking place that night. We sat on a picnic table, watching the stars, and pointing happily every time we saw a meteor.
The second time I saw the Perseids we were at home, and my dad woke me up in the middle of the night to go watch them with him. With a lawn chair set up in the backyard, we watched the meteor shower, together again. The next morning I would have thought it was a dream, except the chairs were still there the next day.
Ever since then, meteor showers, especially the Perseids (though I try to catch the Leonids in November too) have had a special place in my heart. When I was a sophomore in college I dragged my roommates out to watch the Leonids, and I remember how excited they were to see the shower. I’ve laid down in a field, watching the Leonids when home for Thanksgiving, and every year I think of my dad and how grateful I am that he introduced me to them more than 20 years ago on a midnight trip to the bathroom.
Being 8, I woke up in the mid