Jonah and the Moon

Getting ready to cuddle with my grandson Jonah on the sofa, I pull out an oldie but goodie- Margaret Wise Brown’s storybook, Wait Til the Moon is Full.  We read about the little raccoon playing, eating, wondering in his home under the big chestnut tree, asking his mom, when can I go out and see the moon?  She answers, day after day, Wait, wait til the moon is full.  Then you will see what it is, then you will hear the owl, then will you find a friend.

So at story’s end, Jonah asks to see the moon, and asks, is it full?  Being a modern Grandma, I pull up my moonfree app on my smartphone.  I show him the crescent shape that we can see tonight, and I teach him that delightful new word- crescent.  By clicking on an arrow I can show Jonah, via my tiny phone screen, the moon change its shape, clicking for each day after day until I am showing him a circle of light that represents the full moon.  His mom asks for the date of the full moon to come, and enters a reminder into her phone, so they can remember to go out to see the full moon.

I am happy thinking of my grandson Jonah allowed to stay up late of a summer evening, to go out and play in the strange bright light of a full moon.  Maybe he will hear an owl, maybe find a friend.  But here we are still sitting on the sofa with a slim box of electronics in our hand, while the real moon awaits us outside.

So, pajama-clad, we get on our shoes and go out into the velvety deep blue of the summer evening.

It is a cloudless sky, rare for our city.  There are a few big stars shining brightly.  There are also some bigger streetlights, their glare blocking out the sky around them.  The trees in our yard, lining the alley and along the street are full of their large summer leaves creating dark masses swaying slightly in the breeze.  We look and look and cannot find the moon.

We walk to the street, we walk to the intersection, we look here and there and to the horizon and up in the sky.  We cannot find the moon tonight.

Which is what real life is like, I think.  The computer, the phone app, shows us what is true.  What is real is more elusive.  I tell Jonah the moon is always there.  And we will look for it on many nights.

Illustration from Wait Til the Moon is Full, by Margaret Wise Brown.

2 thoughts on “Jonah and the Moon

  1. Love how you fond a teachable moment and used it. I am sure your grandson will be fascinated by all the phases of the moon after this. I also like how his mom entered the reminder in her phone so that she can continue the wonder you started.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this story of looking for the moon – first on your phone and then for real. What an adventure you had with Jonah. Teaching Jonah the word “crescent”, staying up late on a summer night, going out in pajamas and shoes into the velvety darkness, the elusiveness of the moon – all these things convey that magical feeling of summer nights. Technology is great, but a real experience is so much better.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s