This past weekend I attended the New York Comic Con with 4 friends, which has become an annual tradition we started 2 years ago. It's always a blast, and we're generally wiped out afterwards. We normally buy 3 day passes but only go on Friday, which isn't too busy, and Saturday, which is pretty much insane. Friday is the day we hit the main floor and check out as much stuff out as possible, which is nice because not everyone takes that day off and you have some breathing room. Saturday we like to hit the artist alley and avoid the main floor because no one likes being ran over by strollers, trampled by comic book/movie fans, or clocked in the head by various cosplay accessories like oversized swords, giant bazookas or fake Wolverine claws.
When I tell people that I'm going to NYCC, they inevitably ask if I'm bringing our daughter. I politely tell them no and think about how tiring a day at the con can be just for me. There's the trek there, the line to get into the convention center, then the walking around the main floor, the standing in long lines to attend panels or even just get from point A to point B. By mid-day my knees are reminding me that I'm not as slim as I used to be, and my feet want a two hour reflexology session by someone who has good pressure but super soft hands. I'm betting that if I could find someone cosplaying as either a Care Bear or Domo kun they would do the trick.
At her current age, taking Olivia would be more trouble that it's worth. Sure, she'd look awesome because we would do a themed outfit together. She could be a disassembled C-3PO while I play Chewbacca, carrying her in a backpack and cursing those damn pig people for breaking her apart in Cloud City. I could be Doctor Emmett Brown and she could be the cutest Marty McFly EVER (I'd totally write Calvin Klein on the waistband of the diaper(s) she'd wear). Or maybe, just maybe, she could be the Calvin to my Hobbes. Would it be adorable? You're goddamn right it would be. But then she'd get a little cranky. She'd get tired of wearing the costume earlier than expected, want to run around everywhere and get into everything, then she'd just get tired and I'd end up cosplaying as a dad carrying his sleeping child over his shoulder the rest of the con.
So while I didn't bring Olivia again this year, I did start paying more attention to the families in attendance. There were the plainclothes parents who brought children dressed up in comic book themed Halloween costumes. The parents and children who went all out and made really kickass costumes, who looked like they were having a blast together and were constantly posing for people who wanted to take their picture. The lone mother or father who genuinely looked just as excited as their child to be there, and were eagerly checking out all the things on display in the main hall.
Sure, I was excited to check out the things I had come to the convention for, but seeing these families and their kids having a good time made me think to myself, "I can't wait until she's older and we can do this together." I can't wait to share my love of comics, movies and video games with Olivia. I hope that someday she'll be just as enamored with these things as I am, and we'll be able to enjoy them together. She may get into them, and she may not. She might want to dress up as a Transformer with me one year, then be a Disney princess or something more contemporary the next. Then the next year she'll think I'm lame and reject me completely while she pursues her own interests. She may get called a nerd and be shunned for liking something, or she might find lasting friendship through it. Regardless of what she ends up getting into, I want to be there for her, give her my support and tell her to have fun with it. I hope that someday she'll discover, as Wil Wheaton said, that "it's not about what you love, but how you love it." And really, isn't that what it's all about?