Goodnight, Moon

“Mama!,” he cried. “Why, oh, why is the night so dark?”

Mama snuggled close, and then she said, “So, the stars can shine their twinkling light. That’s why the night is, oh, so dark.”

from Little Quack’s Bedtime


February is the longest, most fickle month. I get sassy with Alaska when she turns cold again, but I forgive her because she still makes room for the stars. Here, the night light matters. You can ski at midnight to the light of a full moon, and when its fullness gets so full it turns new and dark, you can hardly see your own hands.

I’m writing all this but what I really want to talk about is wanting things you can’t have. Maybe like darkness or maybe like light or maybe just March.

See, Clara carries a tiny, baby torch of unrequited love for her dog brother Dakota.  She just looks in his direction on a bad morning and sets him to grrring. We’ve learned to hold bright rubber objects in front of Dakota and tempt him into our bedroom so we can close the door and Clara can scoot around, still believing for just awhile longer that to exist is to be loved.

She senses something is amiss, however, and tries to make it right by feeding Dakota all her favorite foods, like pureed broccoli, and letting him lick the front and back side of her little palms. She claps and giggles when he accepts her gifts.  She wants him to love her back.

And, I want this job that I don’t think I’m going to get but didn’t start to really want it until it didn’t want me first. Thoughtful, incisive Matt left a voicemail and provided his phone number very apologetically. It’s never a good sign when Matt sounds regretful. Tomorrow, Matt will call again, I’m sure, and the clean break of “sorry, we have nothing to offer you at this time” should at least break the spell of this wanton wantingness.

Because wantingness is a mean old new moon.  It’s there, but it’s not. I can almost see you! (But I can’t.)  Often, though, it’s surrounded by non-lunar phasing, twinkly stars that fall into meaningful patterns and constellations. In times of astrological desperation, the stars are never coy.  So, I’m going to go kiss my little star’s nose and pet my other grumpy star on his furry head and nudge the husband star gently so there’s room for me to climb in bed now that I’ve told the moon goodnight.

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