Tanner usually watched the weather forecast on TV to find out if it would be warm enough to wear shorts the next day. One night he was surprised when the weatherman mentioned something besides the weather.
“A meteor shower will light up the sky tomorrow night,” the weatherman said. “The forecast calls for clear skies, but the best view for stargazers will be away from the lights of the city.”
“Awesome!” Tanner exclaimed. He liked looking at the stars, but he had never seen a meteor shower before. “Dad, will we be able to see it from our house?”
“I think we might be able to spot a meteor or two, if you can stay awake that late,” Dad said with a smile.
“I can,” Tanner insisted.
All the next day Tanner looked forward to watching the meteor shower. He felt like it would never get dark enough. It was pretty late when he and Dad finally stepped outside into the warm night. Even though it was past his bedtime, Tanner was too excited to be tired. Dad found the perfect spot in the backyard. They lay down on their backs and stared up at the millions of flickering lights.
“Look at all the stars,” Tanner said. “Does the universe ever end?”
Dad shook his head. “We see just a tiny part. No one really knows how many stars and planets there are,” he said. “Did you know that some of the stars you see are suns for distant planets?”
“That’s cool!” Tanner said.
While they waited, they talked about space and stars. Dad pointed out a satellite as it moved across the sky.
After a while, Dad and Tanner started seeing meteors. Some were bright points of light with long tails. Others blazed by in exploding flashes that quickly disappeared. One followed another, a little like fireworks in the night sky.
“Did you see that?” Tanner asked, pointing to a fading streak of light.
“That was a good one,” Dad said.
“There’s another one,” Tanner said as a brilliant light burst into view.
They watched the sky for a long time and saw many meteors before Dad said it was time to go inside and get some sleep.
Tanner was having so much fun he wished he could stay up until morning. “Let’s do this again sometime,” he said as he stood and reluctantly walked to the back steps of their home.
“We will,” Dad said.
“Thanks,” Tanner said with a smile. Even though he didn’t want to go inside, things had turned out even better than he’d expected. He got to stay up late, gaze at the stars, and see so many meteors that he lost count. But the best part of the whole night wasn’t any of those things—it was the memories he had made with Dad.