I wouldn't call it observing exactly22 Mar 2014
The forecast looked good; the forecast lied. But that didn't stop me and Arlo from having a good time. We were both bagged: him from a day with his brother at a day camp, me from insomnia. But when I got home from work at 7pm, we both ran around the house gathering things to go out astronomizing (as my wife calls it).
We got out the door at 8pm, only having to come back for one thing (dew shield, dammit!), and got out to Boundary Bay at 8.40. Arlo was asleep by that point. There were a couple of other observers out there; I talked to them briefly about the weather, then they packed up and left. But I stayed, set up the scope, and woke up Arlo to show him a few things in the maybe-quarter of the sky left uncovered.
It wasn't about the astronomizing for Arlo, and that's fine; it's exciting to be up late, to be out without your brother ("I spent a lot of time with him today, and it's good to take a break"), and (maybe) to spend a bit of time with your dad. But I flatter myself that he was interested: M42, of course; M35 for a star cluster; Jupiter, with Io read to transit across its face; and Sirius, the star whose light had travelled for 8 years to reach him -- just a little older than he is.
After that he settled in the back of the car with a lantern and a Geronimo Stilton book. I looked for a while, but the battery on the hand controller had died (next time: spare batteries, dammit!) and the slop was moving in further. I gave up, packed up, and we came home. He slept, I drove...the natural order of things; though I broke that a bit when I could only carry him partway up from the car when we got home. Li'l dude's heavy, yo.
In any event: a good dry run; a test of my checklists, and of the emergency father-son system. We both did well.