To Infinity and Beyond

Yes I am stealing a line from Toy Story.  In part because today we took Nolin to Kennedy Space Center and partly because last night Jenn and I both watched Toy Story for the first time.  I’d like to lie and say that we watched it for Nolin, but no he was already in bed fast asleep.  Yes it was Saturday night and we were living it up big time watching a children’s movie that came out over ten years ago…and so the story continues.

Today we took Nolin to Kennedy Space Center.  It was cold, but in typical Nolin fashion he had a smile on his face and a good time.  He enjoyed the IMAX movie about the International Space Center (for the first half and then he was ready to move on to something else), and he was mesmerized by videos of the shuttle taking off.  Much like the space program, today’s trip in a sense was a chance for Jenn and I to come full circle.

Nolin Getting Ready For IMAX 3D

It was just over a year ago when Axelle arrived from France and we took her to see a night launch from the viewing area at the space center.  What worked with this plan was the fact that Axelle was going to have a once in a lifetime experience.  What didn’t work was that the launch was Monday night at midnight which also happened to be her first day of school in America.  What worked even less, was that the launch was scrubbed, so we got home at 3:30 am, slept for 2.5 hours and then drove Axelle to her second day of school.  We didn’t exactly start the parenting thing out on the best foot.

That would start a series of parental fopauxs.

Two days later I decided as a good parent I would walk her to the bus stop to make sure that she was safe.  What worked with this plan was that it was dark, she had not taken the bus before, and her English was  still rusty.  What didn’t work with this plan is that she was a teenager.  What worked even less, is after I walked her to the bus stop I just stood there waiting for the bus…who does that?!

As the other kids starting showing up, I instantly realized just how uncool I had made myself, but there was no easy exit without making myself look even worse.  Finally Axelle quietly whispered “here comes my bus”, and I took that as my cue to leave.  On the whole walk home I kept thinking when did this happen to me…certainly I was never that clueless to think that hanging out at the bus stop with teenagers was even slightly acceptable.

Just a side note…Nolin, you are very lucky because we learned a lot with Axelle and hopefully these moments will be few and far between for you.  Although when you are sixteen I wont be near as young and hip as I am now, so I may be hanging out at the bus stop with a fanny pack and a cheap Hawaiian shirt ready to hand you your lunch money as you get on the bus.  I guess growing up I didn’t realize this, but just know that any embarrassing things your mother and I do as you grow up are with the best intentions…or just because we can (it’s kind of the right we get as your parents).

Luckily the launch was rescheduled to Friday night that week, so we went back out and this time we were treated to an amazing experience.  Just like every day since, life has seemed to move to infinity and beyond.

Axelle and Jenn at the Shuttle Launch
My Little Rocket Man

Nolin helping Jenn figure out where to go next

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