The Red Dress Club: The Night Sky

Our Keds rest neatly on the seats in front of us. A row of white canvas toes lined up in indisputable youth. We pull our pegged-jean-knees to our chests and wrap our arms around them.

Our hair falls loosely onto our shoulders. We whisper urgently, laugh freely.

My tweed seat leans further back than I expect and just as the lights dim, I start. This breathes new life to our giggles.

Blushing, our teachers walk around the circular auditorium shooshing, hovering, reminding.

Faint Pink Floyd notes surround, and finally silence, us all.

The lights twinkle.

The music envelops.

My friends make this moment sweeter.

I was fifteen years old and had never taken in the night sky, inside or out. My parents and I took many walks, visited numerous gardens, and traveled a staggering amount.

But the sky remained an unexplored mystery to me. A gift that I had no idea needed opening.

***

Many moons later Jason and I stumble out of bed in the middle of the night. I just finish pulling my hair into a messy ponytail as he laces his fingers with mine. Come on, we need to get going. He pulls me along, rushes me out the bathroom door.

Less than a year together, and I was struck by how anxious he was to be on time, to not miss out. This imaginary post-it note has been endlessly helpful throughout our life together.

We wrap ourselves in thick, gray sweatshirts and GAP jeans. We fill our Starbucks mugs with rich hot chocolate the color of fresh Spring soil, warmly muted by skim milk and whipped cream.

We drive through the night feeling a kismet connection with the few others on the road. Are they looking for an open space, too? Is the meteor shower calling their name, as well?

Finally parked, we gracelessly climb atop our leased Jetta. We sit with a ridiculously thick quilt resting on our knees, hot chocolate warming our hands. My head leans on his shoulder and we breathe in this magic.

Still air.

Bright twinkles.

Hope and shine and pure and clean and untouched and never-knew-it-could-bes.

***

Tonight we are hurried. Jason and I, along with our three children, arrive home after an evening of eating too much and staying out too late. We feel the bedtime push and are dangerously close to meltdowns and tears, yells and frustrations.

But when Brody pads onto the driveway and asks, Where’s the moon? from behind his NUK, we pause.

We take in his almost-a-boy stance. His words that ring just right, too big. His titch-too-long bright blond hair falling into his eyes. Neither one of us says no.

And yes, we are the type of parents who too often fall into the traps of Not tonight, Maybe later, This too can wait. But we understand the draw of a night sky, and moments that fleet.

So we trudge through itchy grass into our backyard and step into the sweet spot between the tall trees of the woods and the warm light of our home.

We place Kayli between us; Her head rests against my shoulder. Jason and I each hold another child up high, as high as we can reach. And as a family we look up at the stars, the moon, the magic. We breathe in this moment, this gift. It is opened.

***

RemembeRED is a memoir meme. This week’s prompt is to write a memoir post about a memorable school trip. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

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Comments

  1. GORGEOUS! You immediately took me back to my 1st time going to the Griffith Park Observatory seeing the lazer show with the “fake” night sky behind the lazers listening to Pink Floyd, and just as quick shuffled me into the desert and realizing just how big and beautiful the night sky is.

  2. I love that that trip gave you something to love and appreciate forever, and something that you can share with your husband and children. That is fabulous.

    A good reminder to stop, and look, and not hurry. I needed that.

  3. Oh Galit, your writing astounds me. This is beautiful and you took us there with you. Brilliant.

  4. This was so well written… and from such a place that I can relate to… that it made tears well up in my eyes. Well done… so beautiful… wonderful reminder.

  5. I was right there with you…a voyeur! Beautiful words, beautiful writing…wow! Galit, you inspired me!

  6. I loved how you moved this forward in years and shared a story from different times in your life.

  7. I, too, loved how you showed how that first field trip to see the night sky influenced you at different stages of your life. Nice job of writing!

  8. The 3 periods of your life, looking at the same thing? Totally impress the point on me. It has always been there, and deserves the attention no matter what is going on.
    This feels like a story of priorities to me, I can’t put my finger on it. But it does. Lovely.

  9. One moment in life flowed so smoothly into another and such sweet memories and experiences to share with your kids.

    Another prompt well done!

  10. Very nice! I can see what you’re describing so well. The Jetta, the cocoa (the color of soil!), the “where’s the moon,” from behind the Nuk. Last December, I stayed up with my three for the eclipse. We played games and drank loads of tea to keep us awake. Then, at around 2 AM, it started. So glad we stayed up for it, even if we were cranky the next day.

  11. I really appreciated the progression from youth, to young adulthood to parenthood. It seems as if you were able to capture all that we valued at each stage- white keds as a kid, the leased Jetta as a single couple and the children themselves as real grown ups. Great read Galit! I always look forward to your take on the prompts.

  12. I actually just took my daughter on her first trip to the space center and we watched the show. Brought back memories of my school trip there many many years ago.

  13. So nicely done. I love it.

  14. Your imagery is just amazing! I felt like I was right there with you looking up at the stars.

    I’ve only been able to see the full night sky without the glare of city lights once. It is a wondrous thing!

  15. Oh, wow. I adore how you took the class trip and shows its impact several instances later. What a fantastic memory. And how special that you share it with your family even today.

  16. Well written! I, too, like how you used that trip to show how it inspired similar trips with your family :)

  17. So lovely Galit. I can relate to all three of these little perspectives. I remember Keds and Pink Floyd! Ponytails and GAP jeans. Meltdowns and discoveries. You are a fantastic writer and are the most amazingly dedicated friend, mother, and wife ever.

  18. Lovely writing. I love the link of the night sky throughout the years.
    I so wish it were night right now…

  19. So beautiful! I love how you progressed with time, the story of the night sky. Just beautiful. Very touching.

  20. Another stunner, Galit. I am too guilty of being the parent that’s always saying, “not tonight,” or “not right now,” and then never following through on things that really matter. Thanks for the reminder. Gorgeous imagery and perfect details.

  21. I love how you took us through different phases of your life using the constancy of the night sky as a backdrop for the changes in your own life :) It’s beautifully written, as always. The rhythm of your writing is soothing, if that makes any sense at all.

  22. How do you just keep doing this? I have to agree with Angela above me that your writing has a rhythm that is soothing and comforting. It doesn’t matter how LONG your posts are, I want to read the whole thing… and I usually read it twice, because I’m so excited to read it, I tend to skim it the first time for the general idea, then go back and really soak it in.
    I love your writing… and constantly look forward to what you will do next.

  23. So perfectly described!
    I have only ever seen one meteor shower and it was breathtaking!

    My favorite line: We fill our Starbucks mugs with rich hot chocolate the color of fresh Spring soil, warmly muted by skim milk and whipped cream.

    It’s so simple but so beautiful.
    I don’t know how you do it.

  24. I love that you are a family that embraces the night sky with such wonder, it is magic and so is your writing.

  25. Wonderful. Simply wonderful. We used to do that in Florida after the hurricanes. The sky was dark and clear because all the power had been knocked out, sometimes for months. Otherwise it was always too light in the sunshine state.
    This brings back memories, and I love, love, love the line, ” A row of white canvas toes lined up in indisputable youth.”

  26. Oh Galit I love when u do little glimpses, when I see the same kind of night, feeling, touch from so many different places. You literally take me away with your words and the journey is so gorgeous!

  27. As a newbie red dress clubber, I am quickly finding out that your posts leave me speechless. I feel like I should just put some exclamation points or some hearts here in the comment and give up trying to find the words to describe your words. :) I just feel like I’m floating through what you write. Beautiful stuff.

  28. I love how you melded all three parts together, and I love the use of longer sentences against some of the shorter ones. Just really lovely, Galit. One of my faves from you. xo

  29. Reminded me of the phases of the moon, the way you had three different memories of the same thing.

    “His titch too long bright blond hair, falling into his eyes.” That description just screams for a big mama kiss!

    Loved it!

  30. The image of the row of matching canvas toes made me smile.
    Captures that time during the teen years when you don’t want to stand out from the crowd and peers mean so much.

    I really loved how you use the image of a gift at your first discovery of the sky and then again to wrap up your experience of it again years later with your family. Such nice continuity.

  31. PearslGirl says:

    As usual wonderful!!! I always look for your post first. “The gift is open.”

  32. Galit, you have such a gift for writing. The three separate memories danced perfectly together, creating an amazing tribute to the night sky…that gift we so often don’t even realize needs opening 😉 My favorite line? “…step into the sweet spot between the tall trees of the woods and the warm light of our home.” Such a lovely little niche…I could picture it perfectly in my mind.

  33. Oh my goodness, I think this is my favorite post of yours yet…and I have many favorites. I love all of these memories.
    SO GOOD!!!

  34. Lovely, Galit. Powerful, poetic and evocative. The writing is exquisite, as always.

    But my favorite part is that you let them star gaze. I’m like you–not now, later, maybe tomorrow. But it’s important to live in the moment.

  35. What a wonderful way to interpret this prompt. I love how you sound like you stop and smell the roses and stare up at the stars as G-d intended.

  36. I love the flow of this. So beautiful. Also, what a great mom taking them out to see the moon. I would’ve said. no. :((

  37. How original to let us see the progression and impact that first field trip had on your life. Life feels like one big field trip sometimes, doesn’t it? Thank you for the reminder to stop and “smell the sky” and not always be the Not Tonight, Maybe Later, This Can Wait parent.

    – Emily

  38. the jumps in time and tenses threw me off at first then if hit me – your theme is how things changed from that trip, and how you appreciate the time you have now.

    well done, Galit. very deep.

  39. I could feel it so perfectly. The night air, the glow of the sky…this was magic!

  40. As always, I’m humbled and awed when I read your work. You have such a way of digging into the heart of your readers.

    I’ve never been fortunate enough to see a meteor shower – at least not without it being dimmed but the lights of civilization. My husband promises me that one day he’ll take me someplace where I can see the stars – because on a clear night I will literally stand, looking up at the sky, until I have a crick in my neck. But I’m sure it’s nothing compared to what’s really up there.

  41. You really write beautifully…I thought I was reading a book…great description!

  42. I can just SEE the color of that hot cocoa from the way you fabulously described it! I love how you weaved all three of these experiences together. My favorite part was the beginning of the second snippet, and your perfect use of “Many moons later…” SO GOOD!!!!

  43. I love how you carried us through time.

    I too love looking up at the twinkling sky. My favorite experience is hands down looking at the stars at the grand canyon. The whole sky looked like it was covered in silver glitter. So cool.

  44. Chills! So lovely…

  45. I love the connection of the sky to your life transitions. Beautiful and fantastic!

  46. Aww, sweet. You write so well. I loved moving with your through time. Very cool.

  47. Fantastic. I loved the small moments. I can feel the quilt and mug of cocoa in my hands.

  48. I loved how you juxtaposed the different stories. It was very well-written and beautifully tied together.

  49. Breathlessly lovely. I love the evolution.

    Your words make everything magic. Every time.

  50. So beautiful! And a lovely reminder to stop and stare a while.

  51. Your words always touch me, Galit….this is wonderful, and I loved seeing the progression of the night sky in your life.

    Wow!

  52. I love how you beautifully and eloquently tied the three time periods together! Each segment was wonderful in its own unique way, and all three nicely complemented each other. Thank you for sharing more special moments of your life.

  53. You are a very gifted writer, what fun to read your posts today…Happy SITS day! :)

  54. We once sat on our lawn for an hour at 3:00am to watch a meteor shower with our kids. That was a magical night for us.

    I think it’s wonderful that you are sharing this love with your children.