Eleanor enjoys seeing the moon (a rare treat for a girl in cloudy Seattle, with an early bedtime to boot), so when I glimpsed a third-quarter moon through the skylight last night, I pointed it out to her, then pointed our telescope through the skylight for a better view. I had trouble explaining what craters were, so I grabbed a nearby tablet (since I started doing mobile development, they are lying around everywhere) and showed her some pictures from the lunar surface. She was disappointed the mountains weren't like the ones in Wallace and Gromit.
Next she wanted to see stars, so we went out on the back deck with a warm blanket. The moon and the city lights and the house blocked out a lot, but we did see a number of stars, plus Jupiter rising in the east. (Seeing Jupiter's Galilean moons through the scope was especially interesting to me because I'm in the middle of Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson, which is set partly during the life of Galileo Galilei and partly on the moons themselves.) We stayed up past Eleanor's bed time, and I tried to answer her questions about planets and moons and stars and scientists. We used Google Sky Map to identify some of the things we'd seen outside.
Being around a five-year-old makes me remember how intense feelings and experiences were at that age. It's a lot of pressure for a parent, because every offer you make, or wish that you fulfill or deny, can lead to either thrills of pleasure or depths of disappointment. I don't have the energy to keep up with even half of what Eleanor wants to do, so I just work at finding enough I can manage. Yesterday she got to spend several hours playing with her best friend from last year's preschool class, which was perfect, Those two girls could keep up with each other so much better than I could hope to. Socializing is also hard work for Eleanor, though, and today she didn't seem to mind having a boring day at home.