Things I have learned from Mary Roach today

screaming, fainting fan
Mary Roach is my Elvis
does she wear sequins?

I'm reading Mary Roach's new book, PACKING FOR MARS, and loving every second of it. I'm close to a third of the way in and it has become very apparent to me (and maybe only to me) that astronauts and trach parents have a lot in common. Like, if a mom of a baby with a trach decided to become an astronaut, she would get to skip like the first half of astronaut training. Seriously. It's kind of like taking all those AP classes in high school so you can skip most of your freshman classes in college.

Examples? Sure!

The ability to live in a sterile, man-made structure for possibly years at a time? Check.

The ability to manage overwork, lack of sleep, anxiety, isolation and confinement? Check.

Understanding and accepting the inability to escape one's environment? Check.

You must be aggressive, creative and brave. Check. Check. Check-ish.

You must be able to make 1,000 origami cranes in seven days. Wait. No. That's to be a Japanese astronaut. Those guys are weird.

Anyway, see what I mean? We just spent months trapped in the house, not sleeping, worrying all the time, unable to escape for fear of germs (instead of for fear of our eyeballs bursting from the vacuum of space, but you know what I mean), yelling at people on the phone, but then coming up with ways to get them to help anyway, etc.

So maybe this is why I feel like my husband, Ike and I are sitting on top of a rocket right now. The countdown was ticking and now we're on a pre-determined delay, waiting for the big blast off. We've been out seeing the sites, eating weird chili, watching barges on the Ohio river, but we're doing it all knowing that our countdown clock resumes Tuesday night.

Three more days. Can all systems stay go until then? Is it trickier to keep a kid with a trach healthy and in one piece for three days than it is to fill space shuttle tanks with highly combustible rocket fuel and keep Florida thunderstorms at bay?

I don't know.

But I do know this is a damn good book, and when I'm finished with it I might be ready to drop off an application with NASA, pending their approval of my AP courses in Never Leaving The House, Trying Not To Freak Out In Front Of People, and the really important one: Not Going Completely Insane From Stress.

Think I have a shot?

4 thoughts on “Things I have learned from Mary Roach today

  1. YES! I just finished it today! I devoured that thing on our trip. Such a fun read! I was going to mail it to you if you hadn’t gotten a copy yet – what the hell was I thinking, OF COURSE YOU HAVE A COPY! The footnotes in this one are killer. ❤ her. LOVE. HER. (mostly because her writing reminds me of you)
    And your parallels here are fantastic. Just hope they don't maintain through the chapter on waste management….


  2. You’re in! 🙂
    (So glad you have good reading material for the wait. We’re sending lots of good thoughts, prayers and wishes your way. And I’m still trying to come up with a new Cincy tourism motto.)


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