I can't believe it's been 40 years since I was sitting in my little red rocking chair watching man not only land, but walk on the moon. Of course, I can't believe I'm 48 years old either.
My family all followed the Apollo moon missions. My mom still has the local paper with banner headlines screaming "Man on the Moon!" Apollo 11 launched on my birthday. My best friend and I would lie upside down, with our feet over the back of the couch for all the Apollo launches. We they launched, we'd all squirm and shake as if it was us in the capsule and then quickly turn right-side up so we could see the launch. I remember being especially excited with this one because we all were so sure that we were going to the moon, going to land and walk upon it. The reality of the situation, brought home to us with the near-disaster of Apollo 13, was completely out of our minds. All my 8 year-old mind could see was a successful moonwalk mission.
Today, my kids are much less excited about the first moon landing. We've been there, we have shuttle launches, Star Wars is much more exciting and besides "I've got to go ride my bike with Sam."
So I've resolved to myself that when we go back to the moon, or Mars, I'll be in Florida to watch that historic launch. Besides, I can't fit in my little red rocker anymore.