My little man was turning 4 and asked me if Batman could come to his birthday party, which was 6 months away. As most parents do to the thousands of questions that pour out of a young child, I went along with the fantasy and just said "sure, I know him and will get him to come."
A few months before his birthday, I realized I had put my foot in my mouth once again. I found out that his older cousins were laughing at him and made him cry because he'd told them Batman was coming to his birthday.
I thought to myself "OMG, what have you done?" My little boy had complete faith in what his dad, the biggest super-hero in his world, had told him.
I immediately began to think about how to fix this mess. I got on good-old Ebay and found a movie-replica suit. Batman suits are NOT cheap either, by the way. I had it shipped to my business and opened the box. It was actually kinda cool. Most boys dream of being a super-hero and this dream ends once you graduate to the world of bills and adult problems, but my dream began to come back to life once I opened the box and realized I had my own Batman suit. Batman would be there at the party. It was a mission of dire importance.
The night of the party, I finished work and waited till everyone was there.
I dressed at work and this was no easy task. You see, Batman suits are not like you imagine. The suit does not slip on and zip up in the back. It is actually many layers and takes some time to get fully Batmotized. I finished the layers and put the cape on, which is the final touch. The cape even has long prongs built in to make it open up to about 10 feet wide, which is really kind of intimidating looking when a 6'2" man is wearing Batboots, making him around 6'4" with a 10 foot wide wingspan. I looked in the mirror...and looking back at me...WAS BATMAN! Wow! This was gonna work.
I drove to the house with the mask off so I could see to drive. When I showed up, I put the mask on, did one final Bat-check to make sure I looked authentic, and saundered to the door in the dark. I beat three times really loudly on the door....My son was sent to the door. He opened it and his mouth dropped. I think he was terrified at first to see Batman in person as the Dark Knight makes quite a scary first impression. Batman is larger in real life and more scarier in person. As I entered the room...silently of course, I looked around at all the people. The cousins that had laughed at him turned pale with fear, froze for a moment, used the 'feet don't fail me now' method to head out of the room completely terrified at the sight. I chuckled to myself with satisfaction that my son's claims had been redeemed.
The party was a success and my son was indeed happy to know that his Dad had gotten Batman to appear there. A few weeks later, my kids found the Batsuit in my closet and, of course, assumed that their dad was the real Batman. I told them that I couldn't say either way. It was for their own protection...which kept the mystery open for many years.
The Batsuit became the hit at many of my friends Halloween parties. They would call and request that Batman come. I took the kids trick-or-treating dressed as Batman a few times and my son always wanted to be Robin. I must have shaken a thousand kid's hands while trick-or-treating as they all believed I was the real thing. We have some great pictures of us that I will always treasure.
I still have the Batsuit in the closet. I don't go on as many missions as I used to, but know it is there if I do need it. My kids have all grown up and realize that Dad is not Batman for sure, but they do know the lengths their Dad will go to in order to make their dreams come true. My youngest daughter, who is 10, still gets a kick out of the suit. When she tells me someone was mean to her at school, I tell her that Batman will pay them a visit in the night and have a talk with them...it always makes her laugh with delight.
To all the Dads out there...know that you are the biggest super-hero of all to your kids. Your super-powers come from within. You may be tired at times, depressed at times, and feel unworthy at times, but know that the power is there...and you can save your child's world every time with a little effort to let them know you love them and that they are safe with you.
See you next time...same Bat-channel...same Bat-Blog