Christian Taylor Buchanan

Christian Taylor Buchanan

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How Christian Experienced the Solar Eclipse

Hey all! I'm excited to write about our experience viewing the solar eclipse that happened on August 21, 2017 across the US! We are lucky enough to live near Nashville and be right in the line of totality, so it was a HUGE event in our area. People came from all over to be a part of the experience! I'll just say, it was deserving of the hype!

Chris's work allowed their employees to turn their phones off at their desks and come outside for about half an hour to enjoy the event, so I decided that the boys and I would meet him at his work so that we could all be together for such a big event. I wanted my boys to have memories of the event as a family, so we did! 

We met Chris at his work about an hour before totality and hung out on the lawn for a bit. I had talked with the boys a lot about the eclipse and what was going to happen. I didn't want them to be scared, because my boys tend to get scared when they don't understand something unusual or are introduced to something different or new. So, I prepped them a lot. They could recite exactly what an eclipse was and what we were going to watch. :) I also wanted it to be a learning experience because we are homeschooling, and I knew that this would probably be the only chance any of us ever got to see a total solar eclipse. We made a really big deal of it, because it was a big deal! 

When I would tell people that we were planning on watching the eclipse, many people would say, "Oh, it's so sad he won't be able to see it!" I knew, of course, that Christian wasn't going to be able to experience the eclipse like we do, but I also knew that there were so many ways he could experience and enjoy it! I was prepared to help him experience it to the fullest. 

C and I enjoyed some sunshine before the eclipse
So, I wanted to write this to tell you guys how exactly he experienced the eclipse and what he thought of it! It was not a sad event at all and so I hope to dispel any misunderstanding about his visual impairment! He really did enjoy it except for when he cried because people were cheering. He hates people cheering! haha!

So, we got to Chris's work in plenty of time to make sure we didn't miss anything. We waited around for a bit for Chris to be able to come outside, and really, everyone came out all at once. He works at a large call center, so there were lots of people to enjoy the eclipse with! 

We all knew that the eclipse was about to happen because we could watch through our eclipse glasses. Christian knew it was about to happen because we were counting down verbally to him. The anticipation for everyone was the same. :)

At the moment of totality, Christian knew it had happened. Everyone, including me, started cheering. That sent Christian into tears because he HATES people cheering. We still aren't sure why and he isn't able to explain it to us. So, at first, he cried just a little. When I got him to calm down and the cheering stopped, I asked him to look up and see if he could see the sunlight. 

Christian lifting his head to see the sunlight
Before the eclipse, he could lift his head up and see the sunlight. He could also feel the warmth on his face. Once the eclipse happened, it was literally like nighttime outside, and Christian could tell that there was no sunlight. Not only by looking up and seeing nothing, but also, the news reported that temperatures dropped on average seven degrees during totality. Christian could feel the coolness. So could we!

In a matter of moments, there were so many sounds to take in. Before totality, people were chattering, counting down, cheering. At totality, the entire crowd erupted with applause and cheers, then for a moment, silent awe. That silence didn't last long. Everyone began buzzing about, taking pictures, talking all at once. It was an amazing moment to experience together with others. It was as if time stood still for that minute and a half, that we were all suspended in that moment! Everything was crazy and calm all at once. It was almost surreal, really, and so hard to explain exactly what it was like to be there. 

But there were so many other sounds as well. Crickets began chirping loudly. Christian noticed them quickly. They were singing just as if it were 8pm. It was a pretty neat thing to experience! Christian listened intently and also heard birds singing their evening songs, but the birds were not as loud or consistent as the crickets.  

Chan trying out his solar glasses
When the sun peaked out from behind the moon again and night turned back to day the air began to warm again and sunlight touched our skin, the crickets stopped singing, the sunlight shined brightly, and everyone began, almost immediately, shuffling back inside to their work. Everything quickly turned back into what it was supposed to be. Day time was day time again. Reality resumed. Time was set into motion again. 

Christian was left a little less than impressed for a moment as he continued to recover from the upset of hearing a crowd of cheering people. lol. Chandler was busy running around in the grass, chasing a little girl he had befriended. Everything was back to normal. :) 

So, although Christian couldn't see the eclipse, please don't feel sorry for him. He did get to experience it! He did get to "enjoy" it. I only put the word enjoy in quotations because the cheering almost did him in. Bless! :)  We talked about the eclipse for several days afterwards and I asked the boys what they thought. Christian's response was "That's cool!" :)

Christian does get to enjoy life experiences. He thoroughly enjoys life and all the experiences he partakes in. He doesn't get to experience things the way we do, sure, but that doesn't mean it's any less rich or full. Christian's life is so
Joy! 
rich and full! 

I hope this helped you see into Christian's world just a little and understand how he takes it all in! Please subscribe if you enjoy reading my blog!