Earlier this month my son and I got to check out a really cool exhibit at our local museum. It’s called “Mission To Mars” and much of it focuses on the effects of space travel on humans.
I read the book Rocket Boys when my son was a baby, and knew even as an infant that the child stood a good chance of blasting home-made rockets into the neighbor’s fence some day. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened yet but this museum exhibit definitely piqued his interest in space travel.
We started with the moon walk, intended to simulate walking with zero gravity. Not only did my son walk; he bounced, jumped, flipped, and spun. “Um. I, er, haven’t really seen anyone do that before”, said the poor museum volunteer.
We also tested out a machine that simulated the effects of blasting off into space. It took a before and after picture to see how roughed up you got. Most people went from looking well groomed to homeless. Since my son leaves his coat on all the time with the hood up to block out extra sounds he can’t process; he looked exactly the same.
He has a really high tolerance for spinning. In fact, like many sensory seeking kids; he loves it. I watched person after person stumble off of this like they had been at the bar all night. Not only could he walk straight; he was able to perform the calculations at the little desk while he was spinning.
This sounds like my child’s perfect environment. A nice, quiet cozy capsule, spinning around; lots of math? He was looking for the sign up sheet.
On the way out, he spent his entire allowance in the gift shop on Freeze Dried Ice Cream. You know, so he can get used to it for when he is an astronaut. I love that his quirks and tendencies and spectrumishness; his ‘limitations’, could actually be the very things that blasts him out of this world for an adventure only a handful of people in history have ever done.
Even if he does not actually become an astronaut; that’s how I am going to look at these new letters in our life. SPDPPDNOS. It just stands for a different kind of awesome.