I am blessed to know some amazing parents. I know parents for whom being a parent was unexpected and is a sole endeavor that hasn't defined or redefined the core of who they are, but has shown me how core strengths can carry over into so many areas of life. I know parents who have chosen to love kids that society generally frowns upon. I know parents who deal with illnesses, shocks, frustrations, losses and gains so varied and unstoppable that it kills me on their behalf. I've seen parents fight and struggle tooth and nail to become parents.
I've also seen parents fail at parenting. Fail spectacularly, and unconscionably, and then get up and try again. I've also seen parents who - no matter how hard I try - I can't help but judge harshly for their actions, and find wanting. I try to work on that, and sometimes I even make progress. I'm human.
"To the Moon," by Ken Liu
This is the first story in the first issue of Fireside Magazine I picked up as part of a Kickstarter. And, quite frankly, it's a lovely story about truth, judgment, and the lengths to which someone will go to protect a child. A man who is attempting to claim refugee status in the states and his lawyer work to gain him that status, while at the same time, a man and his daughter escape to the moon.
That the two tales parallel goes without saying, but it's the intersection of truth and this story that give the tale its amazing "aha!" moment. Beautiful story, beautiful idea... And a harsh reality.