I was cuddling with my four year old last night and we were admiring the stars shining on his ceiling. My parents had given him a twilight turtle for his birthday and it projects stars onto the walls and ceilings. I recited the poem, "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight". He was giggling and telling me about all his wishes. He had a very extensive list from toys to dinner menus. I suddenly remembered the allure wishing on stars held for me when I was younger.
Growing up in rural Nebraska, you have access to the sky's bounty. The brilliant stars against a dark sky is something everyone should witness. I remember throwing out a blanket in the yard on a warm evening and laying on my back to watch the stars as they popped into view. The best sight was around midnight when the Milky Way appeared. The white stars against the black blanket of sky suddenly glowed with wisps of cream. Lulling locusts and croaking frogs down at the creek often sang me to sleep, and I was only awakened by the dawn's dew.
Around the third grade, I was obsessed with astronomy and the unknowns of space. Balls of burning gas miles away from the Earth fascinated me. For some reason, tracing orbits and learning how to calculate the speed of light sounded like a good time. I lugged library books home on constellations and would comb through them until I had them memorized. After a good amount of begging, my parents would wait for dusk and let me find a perfect spot between the lilac bushes and cedar trees in our yard so I could watch starry sky unfold.
Third grade must have been a year of passion for me. I was also pining over Davy Jones from the Monkees similar to a young girl suffering from "Bieber fever" and could easily have duked it out with Marsha Brady for Davy's number one fan title. And no, I am not nearing retirement. It was around 1987 and one of the 12 television channels we received had begun airing reruns of the Monkees television series. Our neighbor, Crystal, had introduced me to the Monkees one morning before school started.
I know what you are probably thinking. Considering it was 1987, Davy Jones was a little old for an 8 year old girl. For some reason I didn't grasp that concept. In my mind- he was 19 and still wearing bell bottoms while sporting a nice set of love beads. It never occurred to me that he had aged or that he was older than my father. He was my white knight on his stead and I was a daydreaming fool.
To my delight, the Monkees had decided to form a reunion tour. My parents had managed to get tickets for a tour date in Omaha. This just kicked my puppy love into overdrive. I would sit and nightly wish on stars to marry Davy. I don't know how many hours I wasted out there, wishing and wishing.
We loaded up the old red Buick and drove 5 hours across the state. A trip to Omaha was a thrill in itself and my baby brother was even excited. We hadn't been to very many cities before and it was a treat to see a mall or a McDonald's. We rode our first escalator, and tripped, on our way to see Davy at a book signing in the mall.
I don't remember how many hours we waited to get a chance for Davy to sign a few of my prized books and photos. It was a LONG time. Hours of waiting in line didn't dampen my excitement and finally we got to the front of the line, but Davy wasn't there. There was a man with grey hair. How frightening? I almost fell of the stage in shock. I barely talked to him and my parents were the ones who made sure I got my autograph.
I didn't wish on stars after that. The old adage about "being careful for what you wish for" finally made sense to me. I still observed the Nebraska sky, but I don't recall wishing again for Davy to be Mr. Right. I thought this little bit of my past could be put behind me.
What I didn't count on, was the fact that serious wish enthusiasts will tell you it takes at least 7 years for a wish to get to a star, maybe more. This is where my wish gets granted.
I did get my wish.
I got a Davy for Mr. Right, but he doesn't have a British accent or play a mean tamborine in the Monkees. David, who was known as Davy in 1987, found me in college and the rest is history. It's funny how a silly wish on a star could come back and bless me more than I could even fathom.
Tonight, what will you wish for?