When Noble was 6, we went to the Johnson Space Center for the first time with GoGo and Angus. It felt a little like coming home for our little spaceman. By the time we rode the tram across the Space Center and through the Memorial Grove, our big guy was asleep on my lap. As we rode through the Grove in respectful silence, I had goosebumps and a lump in my throat. I imagined I could feel what it was like to watch our little boy turned man blast off into space, and then what it would feel like to know he wouldn’t return. The weight of it was almost unbearable. I haven’t told many people about that day or that moment, because I know it sounds pretty woo-woo and a lot crazy. I get it. But what came out of that was a sense of peace—God reminded me once again that He loves our children even more than we do, and He is the only One who can take care of them. And right then, I committed to doing whatever it takes to help both of our children achieve their dreams—even if one of those dreams takes them away from us.
As we drove into Huntsville the other day, when the rocket came into view it was a moment that I’ll never forget. Once again, I was choked up and felt like I was looking at Noble’s future. He was pretty excited that the Star Wars theme started playing just as the rocket came into view (you know, it’s probably not even a rocket—I just like calling it that!). It was quite a moment for us. He got quiet after that, and we didn’t talk much during lunch or while we waited in line to get him registered. Once he saw his room, though, he was ready for me to go. I got a little sideways hug and that was that.
Fun fact: Noble Orion will be the perfect age to be part of the Orion mission, if that’s the direction life takes him. Until then, we’re encouraging his love of science and math and history and supporting him as best we can. And if his dreams end up being so much smaller than space, as big as a desk or a drawing pad or a square of floor in a grocery store, we’ll support that, too.