Impulse Actions and Rocket Launches

rocket-launchReason can be a good thing, and I have written about the value of going with your gut. That being said, I have found that too often I get in a rut of staying inside the “norms” of life and not doing little things to expand my kids experiences. It is far too easy to say “no” and keep on saying “no” or “that’s too dangerous”.

Sometimes you need to give into the urge of trying things that just look fun! I gave into that such urge when at the store recently. We walked by the toy isle and my 4 year old son spotted a model rocket and asked if we could build one like that (“please please please”). Maybe it was my obsession with Elon Musk (and teaching my kids about his ventures) or maybe it was just pure curiosity and wonder that got my son going, either way I gave in. I shocked both kids when I gave a loud “sure why not!”.

For the next few days all my son could talk about was wanting to build the rocket. I began to explain to him the process and (as much as I could) the way rockets work and how it was going to go waaaay up high. He got more and more excited. His anticipation of the launch was only stifled by his sheer unknown of what it was actually going to be like, he had never seen a model rocket launch or even a YouTube video of one. So I tried to explain the idea of rockets and that some that go into space, working in some Elon Musk factoids of course, and he just got more excited.

A clear day came and as soon as I got home from work we built the rocket quickly to launch it that evening. Little did I realize that there was glue drying that needed to be accounted for (quick substitute in of super glue and problem solved). We rapidly finished the rocket and headed out for wherever looked open enough for such a launch (I had little idea what to expect really). We arrived at a small soccer field near the zoo and setup the launch. It went great and zoomed up in the sky with a loud zip, the kids were speechless as then watched the smoke trail get longer and longer. All grinning from ear to ear, they were amazed at what they saw.

We found the rocket after a brief search down a few side streets (problems of urban rocket launches I guess) and the kids talked about it for a while then back to their normal playing. I thought to myself, what a great use of $20.

The rocket launch was not anything life changing or anything that they will remember as adults, but I was struck by ¬†how the whole things transpired. How a snap decision to do something out of the ordinary and a small price to pay for something that gave my kids an experience that they quite easily could never have gotten. Maybe this will ignite some passion for rocket science and they will remember this day as adults as a life changing moment…but probably not. Thats not the point. The point is that they got the chance for that to be the case. They got the experience that expanded their knowledge and gave them a chance to see something unique. I want to try and do that more. Micro decisions that go outside the norm that both educate and expand my children’s view of the world.

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