John Rigney: My Son’s Rocket Ship
Blog #84 by John Rigney
September 21, 2011
Yesterday my four year-old son, Owen, started to describe the rocket ship he was going to build and how excited he was for this adventure. He told me about the clothes he would need, and that they’d need to be special – like the spacesuit and the helmet. Then he quietly said, “Daddy, you can come with me too.”
I was warmed by his invitation and thought myself very lucky to be invited on his imaginary journey. At four, he is quick to dream big and set his sights high. Although he can also be quick to tears, his dreams are what buoy him and make him giddy and smiling. I think that is one of the reasons why I love teaching so much. In teaching I try to bring students back to those dreams and capture their imagination. Literature lends itself to that but so does the interaction of teens as they question why they need to learn this or that, what their futures hold, and ultimately, who they hope to be.
I too once wished to be an astronaut. I was fascinated by the space shuttle and the ideas of space exploration. (My phone boasts one of the coolest apps ever – Google Sky.) I’m glad to see that Owen has caught that bug and only hope I can model for him the opportunity and passion to keep that child-like explorer alive.