shoot me to the moon, dad!

Image via Flickr user Irargerich.
Image via Flickr user Irargerich.

So apparently we bombed the moon.  I’m not sure how I feel about interplanetary acts of aggression (though I imagine Marvin the Martian is PISSED), and I’m pretty sure this scheme was cooked up by a bunch of bored nerdy pyromaniacs at NASA, perhaps late one night when they were all a little delirious.  OMGZ, I GOT IT GUYZ, LET’S EFFING BOMB THE MOON! IT WOULD BE SWEET!

All of this reminded me of another nerdy pyromaniac I know and love.

When I was a very small child, we lived in a house on Mulberry Street, a fact I have always loved because I have a soft spot for the Dr. Seuss classic To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street!  The house on Mulberry Street had a tire swing in the back yard.  I don’t have a lot of memories from those years, since we moved from that house when I was five, but I do remember the tire swing.  And I remember my dad pushing me on it.  And I remember squealing, SHOOT ME TO THE MOON, DAD!  And he’d push me sooooooooo high.  In retrospect, it was probably not all that high, but when you’re five, there seems to be a very real possibility that a tire swing really COULD launch you to the moon.  I’d hang on and squeal and giggle and close my eyes tight, waiting for the big push that might one day really launch me into space.  It was obviously a much sweeter shooting of the moon than the one that happened yesterday.

These days, I don’t spend much time on tire swings, but thanks to my dad, I do spend quite a bit of time looking at the moon.  And the stars.  My dad is a bit of an amateur astronomer, and is always calling me to tell me to go outside, IMMEDIATELY, and look at the moon.  Or Jupiter.  Or a meteor shower.  Sometimes I’m the one calling him, like I did just the other day, because the harvest moon was just too big not to get excited with someone about it.

And even though I’m far away from my family, every time I look at the moon, I remember my little sister’s favorite nursery rhyme, which she said so often my mom eventually embroidered it on a quilt for her:

I see the moon and the moon sees me,

God bless the moon and God bless me.

I recently learned another verse:

I see the moon and the moon sees me,

The moon sees the ones that I wish to see.

God bless the moon and God bless me.

God bless the ones that I wish to see.

I’m pretty sure my tire swinging, moon blessing childhood self would have been pretty freaked out that we were bombing the moon. But I’m also pretty sure that my nerdy pyromaniac dad, who loves to make me squeal, would have said, BLOW IT UP! And I would have squealed, NO, DADDY NO! DON’T BLOW UP THE MOON! And then we’d have quite a giggle.

2 Replies to “shoot me to the moon, dad!”

  1. All I drew in first through third grade was Apollo spaceships going to and from the Moon. 2001 is still one of my favorite films, because it encapsulates what I saw the world becoming because of the Moon landings.

    Needless to say, it didn’t work out that way.

    And as a side note, the Moon was not “bombed,” merely impacted by the stage that carried the observation satellite (which also impacted the lunar surface) up there. During the early space race and the Apollo landings, NASA thumped the Moon several times with spent rocket and spaceship stages, to generate moon-quakes, so that seismographs on the surface would pick up the vibrations. This was in an attempt to plumb the structure of the Moon below the surface.

    Frankly, the Moon has survived a lot of harsher bombardments over millions of years — I’m pretty sure it didn’t really feel these.


  2. Oh, this is a lovely post. I read it on the poetic level – not as science.

    I didn’t know the “God bless the moon” nursery rhyme until I was an adult, and it was in a Mother Goose book I’ve read aloud countless times to my kids. Even though I’m not especially religious, I love this rhyme, and I’m glad to know the extended version.


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