Clara has decided to go to the moon.
She announced this plan to me several evenings ago. She said she had heard a story about an astronaut that had gone to space and while they were there they crocheted a blanket or something, and then they brought the blanket back down to Earth and sold it. But, and her eyes twinkled at this point since it had been made in space, this very common blanket which would have only been worth a few dollars, was sold for a million! She paused as if she expected me to pass out from shock at this point in the story.
I simply nodded and sipped at a cup of tea. “So, you want to go to space so you can knit a blanket and then sell it for a million dollars?”
She sat down across from me and sighed. I wasn’t catching her vision. “No. Okay, first it’s not knitting it’s crochet, but that part doesn’t matter. But also it doesn’t have to even be just me. Dad, think of it. How much does it cost to go to space? A lot of money right? But! If you could take along a couple of people that crochet million dollar blankets while they are there you could pay for the whole thing, no problem. The other astronauts could do everything they wanted to do for free. The trip would pay for itself. I could borrow money to go and then pay it back when I get home even.”
The passion of her sales pitch was growing and she stood up and raised her arms to grab it out of the air. “it doesn’t even have to be just blankets, Dad. We could make anything! Shirts, coats, sweaters, dolls. I have this idea of making a sort of factory on the moon where I can pay people to make things that we can bring back to Earth and sell for millions of dollars. Moon clothes! Moon clothes, Dad!” She shrugged. “They don’t even have to be good, probably. People only want them because they are from space. Literally, anyone could make them.”
I swirled the last of my tea around in my cup and drained it, then motioned for the little girl to come stand next to me. I was about to say something that I have always dreaded having to say.
“Clara,” I placed my hand on her shoulder, “I love you so much. but… as your father, I can not allow you to make a sweatshop on the moon.”