I have pretty vivid memories of learning about eclipses in first grade. It was 1990 and I was already very into space in general and Star Trek: The Next Generation specifically. Ms. Cruce taught us that in August 2017 our school would be in the path of totality of a solar eclipse. I remember being so excited! I would be 34 and definitely (probably!) be old enough to see it.

I don’t want to say that I constantly thought about that eclipse for the next 27 years, but I definitely occasionally thought about it: even though I’d moved from my small town in Kentucky to my college town in Kentucky and then to Florida and then to Washington DC– my parents were still in my hometown. I could go back and stay with them.

Then in late 2016 we found out we were pregnant with Vale. Her due date? August 21, 2017. The exact day of the 2017 eclipse.

I don’t quite remember being bummed– it’s hard to be bummed about the birth of your first kid– but I did think about all the times over the many many years I’d been excited about seeing the eclipse. And now I wouldn’t.

Vale was born two days early and so eclipse day was the day we brought her home. We went outside to see it and I remember being new-parent-crazy worried about a two-day old baby looking up at it. It was neat, but not as neat as the pictures my family were sending me from my hometown.

I’m writing this right as we’re reaching 89%– the max it will reach in Washington DC. Vale is–funnily enough– in first grade, the exact age I learned about eclipses. I never really considered going to the path of totality for this one. Too much disruption in our daily lives. Too much to do today at work. I’m still absolutely awestruck at space and nature and these cosmic coincidences. But, life got in the way today. That’s OK. My life is also a pretty great thing.

There’s a part of me that wants to plan a trip to Alaska in 30 years to see the next one. Maybe I will. But probably I won’t.