Discovery’s Last Flight (and the remaking of a dream)

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Today’s flyover of the world’s most traveled space shuttle marked the end of an era. And has brought me a measure of sadness. Not for the end of the space program as I (and many others) know it, but also an end to something my son hoped for.

When Atlantis flew for the last time, kiddo and I were both very sad. I recalled all of my memories of the space program. Shuttle launches were routine for me. The flights happened regularly and I didn’t think it would come to an end. I remember the Challenger and Columbia tragedies clearly. But, even in the face of these two disasters, I felt it was important for the space program to continue.

Kiddo has said for a very long time how he wants to go to outer space. I’ve long encouraged this goal, especially as he’s shown a great aptitude for science and math. I’ve told him that he can do anything and be anyone he wanted to be –  including an astronaut.

Since the last space mission in July 2011, kiddo and I have been rethinking his goals. He wanted to be an astronaut and physicist. He’s been very consistent on this idea for over a year. What I’ve suggested is that he include his love of space and become an astrophysicist. He’s slowly warming to the idea and I’ve been thinking of ways to keep encouraging his love of space.

So, while shuttle flights have ended, the closing door has allowed us to feel the breeze from the open window. I do believe that kiddo will get to space one day and I will be one very proud mom.

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