The last time I witnessed a partial solar eclipse was in elementary school. I remember sitting on the black top outside the cafeteria with 100 other cross-legged students staring into our cardboard boxes. It was a big deal. The hype leading up to it was focused primarily on the rarity of such an event and the great danger of glancing upward without our cardboard shield to keep us safe. Our teacher made it very clear that our eye balls would melt into puddles of goo and run down our cheeks if we dared look into the face of God.
The hype leading up to this solar eclipse, decades later, was 100 times greater, due in large part to the inclusion of the entire nation in this natural phenomenon, but also because we are a nation of people more connected and better informed by the information super highway.
When we first heard hype of this upcoming event we threw around the idea of traveling 8 hours south to the path of totality. Here in Pittsburgh we were in line to witness 80% coverage of the sun as the moon crossed its path, but the opportunity to experience 100% coverage for those few minutes when the sun would be covered by the moon, and day would turn to night, was so tempting.
Unfortunately, despite our efforts to make it work there were just too many conflicts (like work schedules and Gracie’s first day of college classes) that made it unfeasible. Later we received witness of God’s hand in those obstacles when events occurred that made us grateful we were close to home.) I was placated by the knowledge that we can have a do-over in 7 years when our area of the country will experience another solar eclipse, with the path of totality only 1 ½ hours away from where we live.
All was not lost, however. There was an awesome Plan B in the works when Tyler (and family) were invited to his friend, Tiernan’s, solar eclipse themed birthday party. It was an awesome way to celebrate Tiernan and enjoy the eclipse with friends.
The Stone family went all out in embracing the eclipse theme.
I love a good party theme!
There were eclipse themed snacks like Sun Chips. Eclipse themed drinks like Sunny D and Capri Sun. Even the treat bags were themed.
The eclipse lasted for a couple hours but peaked with its maximum coverage at 2:35 pm. In the time leading up to 2:35 the kids enjoyed all the fun to be had at their home.
There were animals to love,
A pool to cool off in,
And lots of kids to play with.
We didn’t see Tyler almost the entire party, as he and all the other little boys were involved in an epic Nerf gun battle.
The other kids enjoyed playing and spending time with their co-op friends.
As the peak of the eclipse neared the kids were all called over and everyone put on their solar shades and got into position for the show.
And what a show it was.
What an amazing site!
My 39-year-old self had much greater appreciation for what I was witnessing then my 9-year-old self did when I was watching it with a cardboard box on my head.
It was so cool, not only in that moment but also in the aftermath, as friends from one side of the country to the other all began sharing their photos of the event. The uplifting posts and beautiful reflections on this awe-inspiring event that were posted on social media in the days following the eclipse were a welcome diversion from the ugliness of this past year.
Our celebration concluded with pizza and cupcakes.
Even the cupcakes (made by the talented Olivia Hudak) were reflective of the party theme with sun cupcakes and moon cupcakes to pick from.
It was an awe-inspiring event and an “out of this world” birthday party!