Science

Astronaut Anne McClain had her official NASA photos taken with her 4-year-old son, and they’re too cute

Many kids are fascinated by what their parents do and where they go in the early morning when they leave the house in a familiar uniform. But for NASA astronaut Anne McClain’s 4-year-old son, nothing seems to bring him more joy than seeing his mother transform when putting on her spacesuit in preparation for launch training.

Anne McClain and her 4-year-old son pose together for her official NASA portrait. (Photo: Bill Stafford/NASA)

Leading up to her scheduled flight to the International Space Station this November, the member of the 21st astronaut group had her official NASA portrait taken last August by staff photographer Bill Stafford. And while many aerospace engineers take the opportunity to get a professional solo shot, McClain couldn’t help but include her son in the special moment. 

In a thread of tweets from her now-deleted account, the decorated U.S. Army major, attack helicopter pilot, and aerospace engineer shared that leaving her young son behind was the most difficult part of her job. However, it seems that he wouldn’t trade his mother’s occupation for the world.

“Sometimes, I bring him to work with me,” McClain had tweeted. “Not sure who enjoys it more!” But the response is evident from the smile on her son’s face. While McClain holds on to his stuffed elephant, he has both hands on his mother’s helmet — possibly with intentions of keeping it himself.

McClain went on to share what her son has told classmates about her job, saying that he assures her, “None of my friends have ever met an engineer.”

Although her son speaks in awe of what his mother does, it’s clear that he may not understand the extent of it, as many people don’t. Through the Twitter thread, Business Insider shared that the astronaut was asked if it’s more difficult to stay back from expeditions or to leave for them, to which McClain replied: “No easy answer there.”

“One provides immediate comfort, the other achieves not only lifelong goals but also teaches lifelong lessons. Gotta play the long game here,” McClain responded. “But it doesn’t make missing out on waffles with the kiddo in the morning any easier. Most parents can relate.”

The conversation between McClain and her followers is one that reflects the many woes of working parents. But it’s amazing to see the role model that this astronaut already is to so many, beyond her adorable son.

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