Sunday, February 01, 2009

When stars are bright

Brother #2, MrJumbo, sent me this article, asking if I'd seen it. I hadn't seen it, but I have been looking at these bodies with 3B during this week.

It's amazing how far 3B has come since last year. However, plus ca change and all that--every time I show 3B the night sky, I think of Funk Daddie's dad.

Winter has made it easy to show 3B Venus, and with it right next to the moon, it's been beautiful to look at. Orion's also been easy to pick out in the evening sky, and I have to say that I'm proud that 3B has picked it out a few nights this week when I asked him where it is.

Being the skeptic that I am, I wondered if he wasn't just pointing in the general direction, but today, when I was typing in a password on my phone, I got interrupted and left the screen with three asterisks on it. 3B picked it up, looked at it and said, "There's Orion." And tonight, on the way in from the car, 3B pointed straight up at it and again said, "There's Orion," even though at 8:30 it was higher in the sky than he's used to seeing it.

I guess that answers that question.

This all ties in with 3B's current fascination with space travel, driven in part by his love of Rocknoceros' songs Blast Off! and Apollo. We play on the Moon in 3B's room, in rocket ships wherever we can find them, and since talking about other planets, we now also play on Venus and Mercury. We sometimes travel from the Moon to other planets or send Eeyore, Puff and other stuffed animals to other planets, where we talk to them from the Moon or Earth. And, if you ask 3B, he'll even tell you that he lives on Earth.

He will also tell you that he wants to "fly from the Earth to the great big Moon," which brings me back to FunkDaddie, who wisely observed when we were well past our childhoods that "You get to that day when you realize that you're not going to be a star in the NBA, or be an astronaut and go to the moon, or whatever it was that you dreamed about as a kid." While that may be true for Funk Daddie and myself, it's not true for 3B, so every time 3B talks about flying to the Moon or Venus or Mercury, I always respond, "Let's go!"

In fact, in my heart, I hope that it never comes true for 3B that he gives up on his childhood dreams, even if my mind tells me that that day will come. That's a feeling that I'm sure Funk Daddie's dad had about his children and grandchildren as he showed them the stars shining in the night sky and sang softly to them. As I think of him and of Funk Daddie, I think of my own Dad, his hands moving across the piano keys, singing low.

I never paid enough attention to honestly say what songs I hear him sing, but I'd be surprised if I never heard Dad play this

And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadows of my heart
High up in the sky the little stars climb
Always reminding me that we're apart

You wander down the lane and far away
Leaving me a song that will not die
Love is now the stardust of yesterday
The music of the years gone by
Dreams change--while I once dreamed I would be an astronaut, I now dream for 3B, and this song reminds me that what I dream now is that 3B will always know love.

If 3B has to fly to the Moon to find love, so much the better for him.

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  1. Sometimes we get to touch our dreams in strange ways. You and I may never make it to space, but by the day it's time for 3B to fly to Tokyo, the jet that takes him there may well dart up above the atmosphere to save fuel and gain speed.

    As for the moon, it is 150,000 miles away, and it is made of green cheese. You wouldn't want to go there anyway. It does not smell pleasant, and those who try to walk on it often sink through the rind and into the soft cheese beneath and get stuck.

    Stick to sensible destinations, like Des Moines.

  2. Exactly. It's one of the subtle but profound shifts of parenthood--my dreams have all consolidated into one: seeing 3B's dreams realized.

    Even if his dreams involve a trip to Des Moines.

  3. The moon is slightly smaller than my thumbnail, it is made of gold, and it is not as high as that tree outside my window, for sometimes it gets caught in the top branches. Silly.

    As we grow up, our dreams grow up with us. We lose some while we gain new ones.

  4. Anonymous5:49 PM

    Maybe I'm just too literal and rational, but I have already informed my boy that because of his hearing loss, he cannot be a fighter pilot. I know, bad me, crushing the dreams.

    But I know he has lots of dreams. He wants to go up in space. Maybe by the time he's old enough, civilians that aren't billionaires will be able to do it.

    On the other hand, my girl has informed me that her dream of adulthood is to live on a farm with me. That dream I can heartily endorse.

  5. CAGirl: That's why you're my older sister--you're always wiser than I.

    Amama: What's a dream without an obstacle?

  6. Anonymous10:34 PM

    Ooh, the tough love!

    I figure my unconscious self throws up enough obstacles without my rational self adding more.

  7. Tough love? No, just hard truth, methinks. Obstacles abound.

    I'm with you--life comes with enough obstacles; we don't need to create more.