OK so this started off as one of my “quickie” posts, because it was such an off-hand quick funny response from my youngest. But with a night to sleep on it and a bowl of cereal to contemplate it… I decided it needs to be it’s own full fledged post, because Dadventures aren’t always about leaving the house and exploring… sometimes they happen as we sit in the bedroom and watch a bunch of scientists accomplish amazing feats… sometimes we need to let our imaginations push the realm of what is possible….
Let me just start by saying I owe us all a post about the USS Midway Dadventure we went on yesterday… and you will get it… probably later this week… but bigger things were afoot yesterday… or at least they were entering the atmosphere of Mars. Now it is no secret that my boys and I are geeks and we have sucked my wife into are world of geekdom on plenty of occasions. Last night was not one of those occasions, I daresay it was she who lead the charge… Last night the whole family was on board (and by that I mean our bed) as we watched online, the Mars Rover Curiosity (@MarsCuriosity) landing on Mars. The kids were peppering us with questions as we explained what the people at JPL were reporting. We were explaining how difficult it was to actually get a craft to land safely on Mars. We talked about how important the discoveries would be if the landing was successful. Explaining that for two years we would learn more and more about the possibility of life outside of our planet. It was a great moment of wonder, excitement, and engagement with our kids.
Then Curiosity landed my boys watched on as the scientists at JPL laughed, hugged, cried, and celebrate. We got explain to our kids how those people had been working for years to get to this moment without knowing if they would be successful. You could see through the expressions on the faces of our kids that they were realizing that this was a big deal.
…And now we were waiting for pictures. They had said all throughout the broadcast that they might get some pictures tonight and so we told the kids they could stay up just a little longer and see if there were any pictures from Mars, and then from 150,000,000 miles away we got this picture:
My youngest looks at it for a minute and said “That’s not a very good picture is it?”
It is all about perspective… I think we may have built it up a little too much for him and so he was expecting to see something he couldn’t imagine seeing rather than a black and white image of dirt and a wheel. that is a picture anyone could take. Even though no one could take this picture… a picture of dirt and a wheel 150,000,000 miles away. We had to explain a little further… that the picture itself may not be exciting, but that the fact that we could get such a picture was exciting and amazing. That what we learn from this experience may be what helps us send a manned mission to Mars, and that those people may take new and amazing pictures… and maybe… just maybe one of those two little boys sitting on their parent’s bed hours past their bedtime may carry the camera that takes those pictures…