I’ve discovered that one of the greatest joys of fatherhood comes in sharing the things you love with your kids. I have many passions — movies, books, and music to name a few — and I would be lying if I said I didn’t love how passionate my son is about almost all of them. (He’s not quite as into movies as I am, but he’s also three years old. There’s still plenty of time.) However, one of the first things I shared with my son — and one of the first things he really grew to love — was superheroes.
I’ve loved superheroes and superhero lore since I was around Liam’s age. My first love was Batman, but it expanded rather quickly to include the X-Men, Spider-Man, Superman, and a host of others. Even when I’m wearing my button-down business-friendly office attire, I often wear superhero t-shirts underneath. It’s just a part of me, and it always will be. I could go into my love affair with superheroes and how I feel they have become our culture’s modern mythology, but that should probably be saved for a later entry. This one is about my son.
Liam has loved superheroes pretty much since he has been old enough to love anything. Like me, his first love was Batman, but that’s probably only because I exposed him to Batman very early. He quickly learned everything he could about Batman, Robin, all of Batman’s various toys, and even the names of the villains (with his favorite being the Joker, of course).
Mama, I love the Joker. He’s really a bad guy, but I love him anyway.
A boy after my own heart.
Liam has all kinds of superhero action figures, play vehicles, playsets, and costumes (oh, the costumes), but there is one thing he has never really experienced — the veritable of all things superhero: comic books.
On Sunday, that changed.
Liam and I had a father-son outing to a local comic book store called Rick’s Comic City, a comic retailer that many user reviews on Yelp describe as “the only true comic book store in Nashville.” He and I had an absolute blast, and neither of us really wanted to leave. I cannot even begin to count up the number of Look, Papa!!!‘s I heard in the hour or so we spent wandering around the store.
It was surely in the double digits.
They had an entire wall of comics, another wall of graphic novels, plus statues, busts, props, and all kinds of things to put a twinkle in my little boy’s eye (and mine, for that matter). We explored the shelves and the long boxes filled with back issues, and Liam marveled at all the display pieces kept in the glass cases…including the scale model of the spaceship Serenity from my favorite TV show Firefly. (I’m allowed to geek out a little, too.)
In the end, I bought Liam his first comic books, and he picked out a Human Torch Heroclix figure that he has not let out of his sight since. We topped off the visit by stopping for ice cream on the way home — and bringing some home for his Mama, of course. It was quite the Sunday, and I can’t wait to go back there with him. He even let the Reader know that she was invited to come with us next time. Time will tell if she takes him up on the offer.
I bet she will. Who can resist our little man?