By: Felicia Green
In celebration of 50 years since Apollo 11, Lunar Landing, my company asked their employees to provide questions to ask astronauts during a company celebration. I got to thinking about my daughter who constantly tells me she wants to be an astronaut, police-woman, scientist, engineer. Instead of doing what I was told, I thought I’d write a letter to my future daughter; you know? When she’s actually an astronaut. ?
Dear Astronaut Green,
Remember that evening in our backyard, when it was still so hot out from the typical AZ summer day. There were mosquitos trying to bite our skin, cicadas still singing while the moon was beginning to shine bright. I’d carried you to the middle of our backyard so that you could see the International Space Station fly 200 miles over us. I told you there were astronauts living in it who ran experiments and tests. You then excitedly told me you wanted to be an astronaut. You told me you wanted to go to the moon and fly around in all of the stars. I was surprised my immediate reaction was my heart dropping to the pit of my stomach.
And then I could feel the warm tears well up in my eyes.
I didn’t expect this reaction because, well, I’m such a strong Post-structural feminist and a staunch STEM advocate.
The reaction I was feeling was that of a mother. It was the reaction to the idea of my child’s tiny feet, the feet formed in my body, leaving the earth. They would be leaving the atmosphere to a place where there is no oxygen to breathe. It would be as though my oxygen, the air that I breathed to live, my daughter, would be gone from my protection. The ambiguity of being a mother and an advocate was never more real than this moment for me.
I swallowed my fear. Packed my anxiety away and asked:
If you were an astronaut, would you wave to me every time you flew over our house?
If you were an astronaut, would you know other people are also watching you fly over their houses?
If you were an astronaut, would you remember how proud I am of you?
Be safe my, Satellite.