Children, Family, Hiptastic University

Sun Dog and Moondoggie

Yesterday I found myself driving westbound with my husband and two, yes two, of my children in the back seat, and just before the turn south toward the third child, I noticed my husband with his hand blocking the sun and his eye on something to the north.

"What are you looking at?"

"It’s a Sun Dog," he told me, but this told me nothing. I had never heard of a Sun Dog.

It’s really a  parhelion, a collection of ice crystals in the clouds that catch the light much like a prism, following the sun in its westward journey. Through the sunroof’s tinted glass, The Princess and Snowman could see the full range of colors, a little rainbow in the clouds.

We traveled far and wide yesterday, from a time when the sun was low in the east until it was nearly gone into the west, a journey first to church and then to meet Pure Luck at a commuter parking lot, then to get Snowman at the airport in Beantown, and from there to Hiptastic University to see #1 Son play Creon in Oedipus Rex at Hiptastic University. Just as the sun in our eyes threatened to obscure our view of its faithful sidekick, the masks worn in the play disguised some aspects of our boy.

But as he entered from beneath the stage, I knew his hands, his movements, his feet in the odd platform sandals worn by all the characters. 

I remembered the story of Oedipus, of course, although I read the play in college and that is many years gone. It sets up the contrast between those who would trust only the Gods (Creon wants to have the gods’ assurances before acting) and those who would control their own fate, only to have it go awry (Oedipus, of course). In the car coming home late last night, Pure Luck and I kept each other awake pondering free will. Would it count as free will, he wondered, if the only choices before us were good ones? And further, is there *any* chance we, humanity, that is, will choose collectively the good?

It was the first time in almost three months that I could see and touch all three of my children, sit around a table with them (and with Dos), a momentous day in some ways, but ordinary in others, containing the usual elements of our times together: reminiscing, teasing, conversation ranging from Battlestar Galactica to Dungeons&Dragons to the state of the world to science to the food at school and the music Snowman has heard and played and the acting #1 Son hopes to pursue as his work and right back to the Writer’s Guild strike and its possible effect on Avatar, a great concern for The Princess.

Oh. And God.

And foolishness, as when we left the theatre to walk back to the car and saw a ring around the moon, and I asked, "Is that the Moondoggie?"

13 thoughts on “Sun Dog and Moondoggie”

  1. I’d never heard of a sundog by any name at all – and it’s beautiful…but not as beautiful as the thought of all of you together, within hugging reach. That’s just lovely 🙂 xx

  2. Never heard of a sun dog before! Thanks. I hope I get to see one someday.
    What a nice time with your family. I believe it’s free will until the government finds a way to tax it.
    Here’s an Oedipus joke told with a British accent:
    Do you like Oedipus?
    *Shocked response* No! of course not! I rather fancy cats.

  3. G.P. really can take or leave television – thank goodness. Except for Avatar!! He has decreed that each episode shall be a family event. Every Friday D of L and I must watch with him. Considering the choices, I am pretty happy to have him watching a show that preaches self-control, peace, justice and redemption – along with the requisite butt kicking, of course. Who knew he and the Princess had this in common??

  4. I saw a sun dog myself just a couple of days ago – only I didn’t know that is what it is called. Now I know. And I know what it really is, too! Having friends like you makes me smarter!
    Enjoy those kids. All three of them. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. I’m having a weird twilight zone moment because I’m reading this late Wednesday and we, too, saw what you saw yesterday only our yesterday wasn’t your yesterday and so, not only did we not see our things on the same day, I live so bloomin’ far away from you that they couldn’t possibly be the same thing, but isn’t that weird anyway? Do the skies align to connect us a million miles away, or is it that I am very tired from a very long drive in very crazy traffic? I’m not sure . . . but I am sure that I’m thankful for you.

  6. Oh, just the best. I had most of my family here for Thanksgiving. Except Ryan, who called from Afghanistan. So glad you had all of yours for that time and then more family later….

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