I recently discovered a new podcast called 13 Minutes to the Moon. The first season documents NASA’s Apollo Eleven mission. “13 Minutes to the Moon” references the descent of Eagle from Columbia to the lunar surface. I am halfway through the first season and I am loving it. It is such an emotional, powerful story. The second season is about the Apollo Thirteen mission. I am looking forward to that season as Thirteen is my favorite Apollo mission. I love the resourcefulness exhibited to safely return the crew back to Earth.
Last summer, Max’s preschool spent a few weeks talking about Apollo Eleven during its fiftieth anniversary. Max became enamored with space travel, the moon, and Neil Armstrong. All astronauts are very interesting to me, but the astronauts from the Apollo Eleven mission are truly fascinating. We spent weeks reading about the members of that crew and their journey.
One day, while discussion Apollo Eleven, Max asked me if Neil Armstrong was still alive. I was not ready for this. We had not (and still really have not) had a discussion about death and what that means. Max was quite familiar with the concept of “extinct”, but we had not really discussed death. I clammed up. I did not know how to reply. My fear was that if I told him that Armstrong had passed, he would become scared and not want to be an astronaut. Knowing full well that Armstrong had passed in 2012, I feigned ignorance and told him I did not know. I am a coward.