Heroes are such an important part of childhood. The magic that children possess when they believe the unbelievable is amazing. It’s almost a pity we lose that as we become adults. In the real world I want to be MiMo’s hero but I want her to dream and have an active imagination. I’m hoping I can share my love of comic books with her to foster her imagination. I’ve collected comics off and on since 5th Grade. One of my saddest days in childhood was the day I brought home a bad report card and my mother threw away a box of comics. To her defense, she told me that would happen if I didn’t make the grades I was supposed to. She was a woman of her word — in this case a small speck of dishonesty would have been grrreeeaaattt.
Interestingly enough my favorite superhero was a question on our adoption profile. I had such a hard time figuring this out. In all honestly I have a team of favorites: Spider-Man, Wolverine, Daredevil, Batman, and Superman. Now this question is asking me to pick one. Just one? I settled for Spider-Man and then I thought how would I share this love with my unborn child?
Do I just bombard the child with images in their room from lampshades to wallpaper? I am all for Jean Grey, Ms. Marvel or even one of my current favorites Silk instead of the de facto Wonder Woman. Do I read Super Hero Bedtime Stories? I discovered comics in the 5th Grade from my friends at school. Growing up in a small rural town in the south I had preconceptions of the type of people who collected comic books (i.e. white, nerdy and rich). When I went home from school that day I can’t imagine my parents surprise that I wanted to go to a comic book store. I’m sure they laid in their beds asking themselves if they made a mistake by putting me in that private school.
I always knew about Spider-Man thanks to the cartoon and of course the Superfriends. They had actual books — books that I can read instead of reading “Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing” or “Paddington Bear”. I can read Spider-Man, count me in! When I walked into that comic book store and saw all the different types of comics it was the beginning of a great (and expensive) love affair. I fell in love with the idea of good vs evil, the never ending battle against your personal demons, and the fact it let me know that there is a larger world out there. We live in a world full of possibilities. Bigger than all of this — the idea of heroes. In a world of social media and instant satisfaction life’s mysteries have all but disappeared.
I want her to believe that everything and anything is possible. Childhood is the time where your imagination should run free. Comics introduces the concept of the “greater good”. My vision for MiMo is her being creative and letting her creativity flourish. I think there isn’t anything more symmetrical to adoption than the origin story of Superman or Spider-Man. I want comics to be a part of their child hood. She may very well decide that comics aren’t for her. I can only imagine my disappointment when my child opts for the new generation of “Care Bears” over X-Men. But I do have a plan B — if comic book heroes’ fail there is always Star Wars, what kid can resist that right?