16 November 2008

A Child's Dream Of Space

Having grown up in Florida I've seen my share of space shuttle launches. I remember the first mission and the second (Coach Green even stopped football practice to watch Columbia's return to space). And later, of course, I remember watching those ominously split smoke trails streaming upward as my brother and I rushed to the radio to find out if something had happened to Challenger. But after a while the launches became just something ordinary that happened, like the Thursday night smell of Mrs. Ferdnor's overcooked meatloaf that wafted through the neighborhood.

How extraordinary that something so spectacular could become mundane.

Friday night I watched the Endeavor launch on FoxNews with my two sons sitting next to me. The truth is that I didn't even remember that it was scheduled. I was just clicking the remote to hear the man-comforting sound when I saw that familiar black and white form poised on the launchpad. I decided to call my boys in to watch. "T - 1:59." I figured they might enjoy it. And as ignition was reached I found myself looking from the TV to their spellbound faces and I discovered its wonder again.

The boys were transfixed as the spacecraft rocketed upward, taking them with it to a place of imagination. I was a child again, no longer wondering how much fuel or horsepower was being expended, but transported with my sons from our sofa toward a bold adventure to worlds where no one has gone before.

Children still dream of space. They always will. We always will.


  1. RightMichigan.com said...

    Awesome picture and a great post. I remember growing up in the 1980s when every shuttle launch was a top headline and they'd interrupt normal network TV to cover lift-off.

    I remember when Challenger went down... man... and the Punky Brewster ephisode where she wanted to be an astronaut...

    Soleil Moonfrye. Ah, memories.


  2. WomanHonorThyself said...

    ah yes space..the enigma lingers..........

  3. E. Rapp said...

    One of the many great things about having kids is that you get to live your childhood over again.

  4. Khaki Elephant said...

    Soleil Moon Frye? Nick, that one gave me cramps. Still laughing.

    WHT, space and the sea are still wonder and romance in my mind.

    So true, E. Rapp. And so wondrous