Outer Space

Back when Sam was oh, about two, he discovered outer space. He’d watch the Baby Galileo DVD on a constant loop if I’d let him. The planets, the stars, irresistible shiny things. As with every subject that fascinates him, he would make drawing after drawing of Neptune, Saturn, Mars and then call out their names, his love of the alphabet nearly as strong.

We discovered soon enough that he could read. The first time was at the grocery store: we’re passing the deli, Sam looks up from his seat at the front of the cart and sounds out “De-li. Ham.”

There was the time we took him to the National Air and Space Museum and as the four of us walked the exhibits he’d shout out the planet names to the astonishment of those around us. A little tow-headed two-year-old, who until recently had not uttered one word.

I remember all this as John’s obsession with outer space has now reached its pinnacle. He believes that his mother can do anything. He watches me crochet and climbs on my lap. I tell him “Mommy is making a scarf.”

He jumps off, brings me some yarn and says “Mommy is making the planets.” And so it begins. The moment he awakes: “Mommy is making the Mars?” Yes. The moment he steps off the bus: “Mommy is making the Neptune?” Yes. Even Pluto, that poor maligned planet that’s no longer a planet.

Days later I am done and I turn towards my neglected scarf. He brings me more yarn and says, “Mommy is making Muno babies.” He thinks I can do anything.


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