Kids book: adulting iv

elle stempe


I don’t want to lie to you and tell you that the fact that the pug dressed in a space suit was not one of the main reasons for choosing this kiddy book to share. He was hands down my favorite character, and after seeing the illustrations(by The Fans Brothers) you will understand why. I’m not crazy - you’re crazy.

    Adorable pugs aside, The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield (a real-live astronaut who, amongst other accomplishments, served as the first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station from December 2012-May 2013) and tells the story of his own childhood. Chris is obsessed like a mofo with space and dreams of blasting off in a rocket one day. The only problem is that he is afraid of the dark. And space is like… the fucking darkest thing there is so uh-oh.

    Chris’s parents try to tell him that he has nothing to fear when he goes to bed at night, but the dark is so scary and it doesn’t matter how many times they search his room to make sure it’s safe – Chris still cannot go to sleep.

    Finally, night after night of the parents trying to console him prompts them to mention that they will not be able the go over to their neighbor’s house the next evening for a special event, because they will be too tired. It becomes clear that this special event is extremely important to Chris, so he sucks it up because he has no choice. He somehow drifts into slumber with his steadfast pug at his side.

    The next day the whole neighborhood gathers, at their next-door neighbor’s house. There is a buzzing excitement in the air and we realize that the people are all gathering to view a very important moment in American history: Apollo 11 has landed on the moon, and the whole world was holding their breath as they watched.

    Chris cannot believe that this is real life and he is seeing actual people walking on the moon. He is overcome by beautiful a view of the earth from the moon’s surface, and the surrounding area is the darkest dark he has ever seen but he’s not afraid of it, but instead intrigued. 

    He gets home that night to his bedroom, and turns off all of his lights as he looks out his window to the moon and night sky. Normally, he would be afraid. But that night things were different. He felt different. He realized that the darkness, however mysterious, was actually the most gorgeous thing he’d ever seen. And it was that same mystery that made it all the more exciting. 

    And that’s the long and the short of it. Now let me school you on what I learned from this and what you should think about too in order to be a fully functioning adult.


  1. Always have a dog as a sidekick. Preferably a pug. They will help you feel like you can kick ass at anything because they live to love you and their eyes always say, “I know you can do it, buddy.” This is more than can be said for most humans.
  2. Your fear is just a thing and it doesn’t have any meaning unless you give it that power. DO NOT BASE YOUR DECISIONS IN LIFE OFF OF YOUR FEAR.
  3. Your friends will help you to overcome your fear and will support you no matter what, but after a while, if you’re holding onto that same fear after numerous attempts to relieve your anxiety, you may find that your friends and family no longer know how to console you. Realize that this does not mean that they love you any less, but letting them give you advise and pep talks until the cows come home will not necessarily stop you from getting in your own way.
  4. Always keep your heroes in the back of your mind. Making a point to emulate their best qualities will keep you moving towards your goals when you seem to have lost your way. Know that your heroes are merely humans just like you, so never ever ever stop dreaming and working hard towards your destiny.
  5. It’s easy and comfortable to not feel brave, but you only need one single moment of bravery to overcome your fear. So what the hell are you waiting for (cue Linkin Park’s “Numb)?? There’s a whole fucking universe out there and you can only see the beauty in it and begin to realize your true potential and talents when you let yourself free.


written by: elle stempe