In the middle of the night, Mom called, “Do you want to have lunch with an astronaut?”
Was Pluto reclassified? Are armpits hairy? Was Beyond the Thunderdome unnecessary? Yes, yes, yes, and YESSSS! Bring on the astronaut.
I immediately booked a hotel room, and we surprised Bella with a quick, overnight trip to NASA.
Over a weird, Mexican lasagna, Bella asked Astronaut Higginbotham what she missed most about home once she was in space. After a moment, Joan answered, “I missed being able to go outside. I missed my family. I missed showers. Space is a dirty, smelly place, and it made me appreciate my home.” That said, Joan quickly added that once she was home, she missed being in space.
Later in the afternoon, we attended her public presentation in the NASA theater, along with hundreds of children from day camps around the area. As always, kids ask the real questions, unafraid of intellectual posturing.
“Have I ever seen a Death Star?” She hasn’t…shame.