Travel in Light Years

How do we give children the space to dream and view the world with wonder?

As children, movies and TV shows often tell us that anything is possible if you believe in dreams.

As an adult, I have a nuanced view, because we don’t always get what we wish for – and that’s ok.

As a parent, I love watching T experience life in his light-speed fashion with wonder, optimism and fearlessness.

I want this attitude to grow but as he gets older, it is important to temper it with pragmatic optimism – or I’ll set him up for disappointment otherwise.

A library book he borrowed last week gave us a chance to chat about why it’s important to dream and the need to work for them.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield seems to be a recurring figure in our bedtime reading.

A few years ago, a friend gifted T “The Darkest Dark,” Hadfield’s children’s book based on his childhood. It helped T learn the dark is nothing to be afraid of.

The book “Meet Chris Hadfield,” is a non-fiction biography of Hadfield.

I pointed out to T it’s the same Chris from “The Darkest Dark,” except he’s a grown up and became an astronaut.

This book had a nice message about having dreams and to work for your goals.

I love the last paragraph in the book: “… Chris also reminds people that to reach your goals, you need to work hard and be prepared, so that you will be ready for whatever adventures are ahead.”

T and I chatted about what this means and I let him know that’s why we do all that extra reading and homework that he sometimes finds annoying. It helps him and his brain grow.

Being a pragmatic optimist, I am mindful that because of T’s FASD, he will have additional struggles in school, daily life, and work.

As to how FASD may impact him, all we can do is carry on as we already are: proceed with pragmatic optimism, accommodate his struggles, anticipate and plan for future challenges, adapt from his setbacks and celebrate his successes.

As adults, we know that the sky may not be the limit but it should never stop us from looking up with childlike wonder and reach for the stars.

“Listen, can you hear that distant calling

Far away, but we’ll be with you soon

Rocketing to outer space in orbit

Take us to the popstars on the moon…

Travel in light years…”

– Light Years

20 thoughts on “Travel in Light Years

  1. This sounds like a very good book from an excellent role model. I am sure meeting him was a true treat for T. You are an exceptional parent, Abe. This always shows through in your post. ❤

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful rest of the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks LaDonna for the kind words always. Chris Hadfield is indeed a great role model. T hasn’t met him yet but hopefully he can one day as he does a lot of personal appearances.

      Have a great weekend to you as well! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The Sarnia connection is very cool! You’re not gonna let me live down the Sudbury comment are you? 😆

      In Chris’ story, he mentions a defining moment was living on an island and watching the Moon Landing with his island neighbours. Do you know which island it was?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Chris Hadfield but I didn’t know he’d written children’s books. That’s awesome.

    i love your message for kids — and for adults. Oh, how we forget to dream and reach for the stars ourselves sometimes. Thanks for the reminder and inspiration Ab!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s nice that T has read The Darkest Dark and Meet Chris Hadfield. I’m not familiar with any of these children books, but from your explanation it sounds like kids need to read both for they seem to teach them perseverance and patience, two important qualities one must have to be able to deal with many obstacles in life. We need other versions of these books adjusted with characters that are more relatable to those living in a certain country/region.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bama! You bring up a very good point. Children’s books are universal in how they help teach valuable lessons but agreed that stories that reflect a local culture and region will resonate with the local community. It’s always interesting to see, for example, how a classic fairy tale is interpreted in different regions and countries.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That is a wonderful, very important book you have chosen for T. It is simple and easily understood. Working hard for our Dreams, being patient and being persistent regardless of how many times we fail are priceless words of wisdom and virtue we can teach our kids so they will group up prepared , successful, practical, realistic, humble yet fearless. Thanks Ab. Take care and regards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! He actually chose it himself as part of weekly visit to his school library. 😊 And agreed that the messages you noted above are so important for young minds to hear again and again until it’s part of their nature. Take care and enjoy the rest of your week!


  5. This. So on point. T is going to be successful because of you guys and how you are raising him. You are aware of his struggles, and work through them with him. You let him dream, and you let him be T. An amazing little boy who loves hard and plays hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rebecca! I think you said it best, loves hard and plays hard are so key and definitely our goal and hope for him. 😊


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