Being the nerdy sort of father that I am, I've had my kids (and wife) endure all sorts of weird watch parties. We don't watch sports on TV, but instead... we watch the live press conferences of the Higgs Boson announcement or the LIGO annoucement! Yep... we are a little bit strange like that, although, to tell the truth it is probably me who is driving a lot of it!
Mostly, the girls (9 and 4) have been polite enough to go along with it and my wife has been weirdly curious about things that she doesn't really understand. So, there is a lot of explaining that needs to also happen for both her and the girls. More recently, my wife has found some wonder in the Maths and Physics, so that is a nice thing to sometimes share!
I do wonder if the kids make the most of the opportunity to stay up late and watch "TV" on the couch all together, playing cards and board games whilst waiting for the announcement and eating sweets and chips. Still, we always find interesting educational things to watch that are related to the event while we are waiting as well. Definitely the older one is really interested in learning more about these things... she is still at an age where she is insanely curious and excited to learn things, and she hasn't got that "jaded" attitude that some of her school friends are starting to develop. Hopefully, she retains that spark and doesn't go the way of the lifeless...
Last night we all stayed up to the Mars Rover Perseverance land on the Red Planet. We had been watching some of the introductory educational videos in the week before, so I had already primed them with some sort of excitement for the event! In fact, the night before, our oldest girl couldn't sleep as she was SOOOOO excited that Perseverance and Ingenuity were about to land on the next day! For her, it was a bit like the night before Christmas!
We all got the evening chores out of the way early... early bath, early dinner and then settled in on the couch for the 2 hours of live stream from NASA! The stream was a little late in starting (or we were crazily early!), so we watched a few more YouTube videos from JPL and NASA about the mission whilst switching on and off the livestream just to check if things were going or not!
Unfortunately, the toddler only made it to about 9pm (the landing was around 10pm in our time zone) before she was really too tired to make it. We all had to make a big show of all going to bed so that she wouldn't think that she was missing out... so brushing teeth, going into bed and waiting. She was out like a light immediately...
... and so we all snuck back downstairs to restart the NASA livestream! (This sort of really starts to sound a LOT like Christmas Eve!).
Anyway, I was a little bit worried that our oldest daughter would find the whole event underwhelming... after all, you don't really see that ACTUAL landing! But she was completely entranced by the whole thing, the stories (of the peanuts) and the computer interface that the annoucer had (which she thought was COMPLETETLY RIPPED out of Kerbal Space Program). She was riveted for the whole thing!
When the actual lander landed... WOW, it is just such a feeling of pride that humanity could do this at all! The people who were directly involved, these are people who make REAL contributions to the advancement of humanity... it isn't the endless cycling of money and marketing and consumption. I am just in awe of people like them! That said, the whole of society contributes to this sort of endeavour by providing the basis from which these sorts of projects can be realised.... even if we waste a lot of it by juggling and hoarding numbers and pretending it is important!
Now my oldest daughter says she really wants to work at NASA! I couldn't be a happier father!
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