July 11, 2009

Buzz Aldrin's Fatal Flaw

We went to the Musuem of Fine Arts, Houston last night for a talk and book signing by astronaut Buzz Aldrin. You know, he is the guy who was SECOND to walk on the moon.

My boys were excited. They watched From the Earth to the Moon
the night before. They gathered up all of their space books to read on the way down to the Museum. During a quick stop at the library to pick up some books on hold, they checked out more books on Apollo 11. They told the waiter in the restaurant that they wanted to ask Mr. Aldrin if he still likes to fly ... they love to fly. They were prepared.

They didn't complain that they had to wait in line for an hour to see Mr. Aldrin. It didn't matter to them that the microphone was malfunctioning. They didn't care that they had to wait another hour to get their book signed. This was one of their heroes.

Mr. Aldrin's assistant/bodyguard was rude. She was ugly. She snapped J's book shut and told him Mr. Aldrin would not sign his book. She interrupted a conversation I was having with my son.

Mr. Aldrin didn't even look up from the books. He didn't interact with the people. He wouldn't shake my sons's hand. He didn't even smile.

How sorry I feel for Mr. Aldrin. He is not one of their heroes anymore.

On the way home, J said he knows what Mr. Aldrin's fatal flaws are. As a matter of fact, J thinks Mr. Aldrin has two. (1) He thinks he is better than anyone else. (2) He is so obsessed with fame that he can't see anything else. He wants more and more and more.

"Dosen't he know, mom," said J. "Being famous doesn't make you a hero."

Oh, what words of wisdom. How right you are my son.

Mr. Aldin is working on his legacy. That is plain to see. He wants to explain away the years of alcoholism and mistakes and missteps. He wants everyone to see how important he is. He has met Presidents after all. He has met kings. He has walked on the moon.

When you are gone Mr. Aldrin, there will be a few people left who will care. Your vision is just that, a vision. And a vision is defined as "an experience in which a personage, thing, or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind, although not actually present." Don't you know, Mr. Aldrin that in the end, the only ones who will carry on your legacy are the children. Just not my children.

I feel sorry for you, Mr. Aldrin. You think you are a hero. However, last night you missed a chance to meet some real heroes. I know, I live with them every day.

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