“We Should Hold Hands When We Go To Space!”
Child will ask if the rules allow it
Laurea is very excited to go to space. She has been tracking the efforts of various billionaire egomaniacs for at least fifteen years, mentally scheduling her inevitable first visit to the stars for whatever birthday seems most likely to coincide with commercial availability. No earthly destination can compete with the sunny climes of fifty-five miles above sea level; it has been impressed upon me that our one true luxury investment must be the achievement of low-earth orbit.
Despite learning (relatively recently) that civilian astronauts are likely only to flirt with the edge of space for fifteen buoyant minutes, Laurea believes in her heart of hearts that the six-figure cost of a trip to the universe is well worth being able to lord it over everybody else. It is a frequent topic of conversation in our household. So, then, has Kina begun to ask us when she will be permitted to visit space—a locale she knows only through cartoons, which means she is likely imagining a vast expanse full of lasers, sword-wielding heroines, and chic jumpsuits.1
In the car yesterday, Laurea was beginning to doubt (for the first time) the value of a fifteen-minute jaunt to weightlessness, even as she outlined the amenities space tourists could expect: seventeen large windows, an array of high-definition video cameras filming one’s every twirl, jumpsuits. Kina’s first question, in response, was whether we would be permitted to hold hands in space, which warmed my “wasn’t really planning to go to space, really” heart and seeded in my mind an image of the three of us floating around in the cabin of a billionaire’s rocket ship, resplendent in matching jumpsuits2, gazing down upon the earth and holding hands the entire time. I can feel Kina’s warm little palm in my own even now, which will help to ameliorate the sense of nausea that I’m sure weightlessness will induce in me.3
Kina was deeply concerned that the rules of space might be too strict for hand-holding, but I assured her that this particular spaceship would allow you to hold hands, and that seemed to comfort her a little bit. It was clear that hand-holding was the one thing keeping her from committing to Mommy’s dream, and they are now fully aligned. Now I just need three hundred thousand dollars. And a jumpsuit.
It is likely the jumpsuits where Kina and Laurea’s interests most squarely meet.
—which we can keep as souvenirs, of course
How can you possibly become accustomed to falling forever? Hold my hand, at least!