When I was a kid, I wanted so badly to be an astronaut. I’d go outside with my red-tinted flashlight and sky chart, picking out constellations. I was that annoying smarty-pants in science class who called out all the answers to the teacher’s questions: supernova! comet! moon! orion! Even through high school, when my astronaut aspirations had faded into the reality of my good but not stellar academic achievements, I spent a summer lying on the roof with a friend, watching shooting stars.

This video just got to my heart in a way I couldn’t have anticipated. Of course funding NASA isn’t going to fix our education issues, and my steadfast hope is that private companies take over space exploration, making it cheaper and more accessible to the average Joe (and Jane). But there’s something to be said for the national pride engendered by NASA. It’s sad that by the time they ended the space program, shuttle launches had become ho-hum, even though the technology behind them never got any simpler. It should be inspiring – and humbling – that we went to the moon on less computational power than is in most cell phones (or pocket calculators, for that matter). I feel in many ways we’ve lost a lot of our national pride, and going to war did nothing to bring it back. What is going to be America’s next inspiration? What will drive the next generation to excel and believe, in the way only Americans can, that anything truly is possible?

I used to tease Matt for wanting to be president. It seemed like such a big dream for such a small town kid. But today, I realized that Elizabeth Banks – the blockbuster Hunger Games actress – comes from his small town. Going through IMDB, he personally knew many of the actors, producers, and artists from his town. He told me they even had an astronaut. No wonder he thought being president was a totally feasible goal.

These days, C has become totally fascinated with the moon. He noticed that you can see it in the daytime sky, especially lately, when it’s been incredibly large and visible even in the height of day. He’ll point to it non-stop and ask to see it at night. He can tell you that it’s in the sky, and tell you that we have to go out the door to see it. Door! Door! Momma, Moon!

What will I tell C when he gets older about his moon dreams?

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