As we mark the fortieth anniversary of humans’ first trip to the moon, we’ve heard plenty of reminiscences of that incredible event. I was ten years old, old enough to understand what was happening, but not really old enough to have any idea of how important it was in our collective history. My memory of the event reflects that childish perspective.
The moon walk was televised, of course, and it was on very late at night, as I remember. For this special event, my parents allowed two huge exceptions to their usual rules.
First, we kids were allowed to stay up late to watch TV! This was really exciting for us, as television was generally restricted during the evenings; we rarely watched on school nights, except for Disney on Sunday nights!
Second, and perhaps even more exciting, we were allowed to have a snack in the living room. We were never allowed to eat in the living room, and to have a snack in that adult space and watch TV at the same time and stay up late to do it all was just too exciting.
For the record, my mother gave us Ritz crackers (with peanut butter?) and hot chocolate. on a tray. (It was probably the same black tin tray that's in my cupboard now; I use it pretty often, always thinking of her.)
These special allowances made such an impression on me that I can vividly recall their details forty years later. I even remember the texture of the wool carpet and my footie pajamas and my old pink blanket that was nearly worn to shreds.
Ironically, I guess I wasn't as excited about the moon walk itself. I fell asleep on that scratchy carpet and must have missed it altogether, because I don’t remember it at all!