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Fiction Science Fiction Contemporary

My grandson is obsessed with the moon. At eighteen months old he points to the sky and says “moo.” Close, unless of course he means the cow that jumped over the moon. I explain that the moon can only be seen in the night sky when it’s dark not during the day, even though it’s still really there. He usually goes to look through one particular set of windows in the guest bedroom since that was the first time he became aware of it and so thinks it’s always visible from there. I explain about how the moon also rises much like the sun and how it goes through different phases and shapes during the month. I don’t speak down to kids and fabricate make believe stories (unless they know it’s story time) when they ask questions, I just talk a bit more slowly and try to explain things on a simpler level. So we talk and read books about the moon, planets and outer space.  

My grandson is obsessed with the moon. He has been since he was eighteen months old. Now a newly minted kindergartner, he knows all the planets in the solar system, knows the sad history of Pluto and its delisting as a planetary body, knows the phases of the moon and many of the names of the other moons in our system. He’s talking about Space Camp and wants to go. I tell him he needs to speak with his parents. The grandparents handoff is one of the perks of this job. I just read him tons of science fiction stories and watch space movies to feed his curiosity and passion. 

My grandson is obsessed with the moon. He wants it to be the theme of his Bar Mitzvah party. So it is. Light up moon globes on each table, rocket ship balloons, the DJ and his dancers dressed in Star Trek couture, and of course the Darth Vader helmet chopped liver mold. He has the DJ program a moon centric playlist played during dinner. Platters of Moon Pies are put out along with the dessert buffet. It is all rather geeky and sweet but everyone seems to have a ball and my grandson is over the moon with happiness. 

My grandson is obsessed with the moon. His high school guidance counselor is impressed with his mathematical skills and GPA and has advised him to set his college goals high. MIT would be a great fit for you, he tells him. Impressive, I tell him. You must get that from your grandfather, I kiddingly say, you know those genes are a tenacious thing, kinda like genetic Velcro, latching on and passing on. I give him a hug, kiss him on his blond head and tell him how proud of him I am. He thanks me for imbuing in him a love for the fantastic, for the impossible, improbable yet hopeful future he sees for himself and for all humanity. For wonder. For the moon, he says.  

My grandson is obsessed with the moon. His admission to MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology was and is a pivotal moment in his life. The long list of overachievers who attended this university is nothing short of staggering. Science rules here, is embraced and lauded for its contributions to Mankind. My grandson is in his element here, mingling with other like minded intellects, each working to secure their place on that list of accomplishments. He likes to remind me that Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon is an alumni, as are many other astronauts.  

My grandson is obsessed with the moon. I can see it in his eyes, when he talks to me about his upcoming mission. He is going to the International Space Station for a year, to conduct experiments in gravitational wave theory, something Einstein himself spoke of. I will miss you intensely I tell him, I’m not getting any younger you know and one year is a long time not to see you. Not to worry, he tells me, I will call you and video chat as often as I can. I know you will, don’t forget I’m living vicariously through you. This is a dream of mine, a box unchecked on my bucket list and one that will remain so but one that’s much closer thanks to you.  

My grandson is obsessed with the moon. He has been back from the ISS for about six months now and is already talking about his next mission. He is going to the moon as part of NASA’s first moon colony. He plans on being there for at least one year and possibly longer depending on how things progress. Next stop Mars, he says and I begin to cry. My own dreams and longings to be alive to see these things is coming true and my own grandson is playing a crucial role in its fulfillment. If it can’t be me, it can at least be some of my DNA. 

My grandson is obsessed with the moon. That’s what my grandfather used to say. I stand before you today, having just returned from our newly established Mars Colony. I couldn’t not have been here today to say goodbye to him. He was a transformative presence in my life and is hugely responsible for the path I walked and for the man I became. He helped ignite my passion for learning and for my love of science, space, and the unknown and although it might sound corny and trite, I am taking back to Mars my very used and abused copy of Good Night Moon, a book my grandfather gave me when I was an infant. He would read it to me whenever he came over at bedtime, which was quite often. As I grew, he would read wonderful stories about space exploration and future civilizations. After a while, I simply couldn’t wait for his visits in order to finish a particular novel so I would finish it on my own but the inner reading voice in my head was his. Still is. I’m going to bury that book in the Martian soil so that a small piece of what he was will forever be there just as there is here (tapping my heart). I guess

my grandfather was also obsessed with the moon and whenever I look up at it I will think of him. Thank you Grandpa and good night.  

February 18, 2023 23:05

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1 comment

Mary Bendickson
21:47 Apr 18, 2023

I know why you didn't have any comments on this piece,Andrew Tears in my eyes make it difficult to type anything. What a tribute ❤️ to grandparents everywhere who encourage their babies to grow up to follow their dreams an reach for the 🌙. Loved it.


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