Because teenagerdom is a mess, but some people handle it better than others.
Heartwarming: Single Dad Dedicated to Learning About Comics for His 4 Y/O Geek Girl
by Susana Polo | 11:54 am, March 2nd, 2012
Lets get the sad part of the story out of the way up here: Matt Logelin runs a blog (and has written a bestselling book) detailing the struggles he faces as the single dad of a daughter named Maddy. Maddy’s mom, Liz, died of a pulmonary embolism the day after she was born.
Okay, now come back with me to the rest of the story: Maddy’s almost four now, and Logelin, while struggling through his fears of learning to braid hair and travelling with a baby, considered himself to have a stroke of luck in that she was turning into quite the tomboy. He felt well equipped to teacher her about baseball, football, and fishing; the things he did as a kid, but Maddy is also very, very interested in comic book superheroes, and those, he confesses, are completely beyond his experience.
What even I sometimes forget, steeped as I am in the “but women don’t read comics/play video games” discussion, is that not every guy reads comics or plays video games. Logelin is one of those guys.
a few weeks back her mind was completely blown when she found a batman mask ready to be cut from the box of her favorite breakfast cereal, and no matter where on earth you live, you probably heard her squeal when i pulled a batman comic book from inside the package. (“squeeeeeeeeeee! dad! this is soooooo cooooool!”).
a few days later brooke [Logelin's current partner] bought her a t-shirt with a bunch of superheroes on it, and when madeline chose it as her shirt for the day, she spent the entire drive to school asking me questions about the superheroes and their personalities and super powers… questions i couldn’t answer for her other than to say that the hulk turns green when he’s angry (i know nothing about wolverine or the other superhero on her shirt, whatever his name is).
But for Maddy, it seems clear, he’ll do anything. Fortunately, they live in Los Angeles, a city with a lot of very cool comic stores. Logelin chose Secret Headquarters as the first stop on the father-daughter exploratory mission, and was surprised to find a comic book girl manning the counter, rather than the comic book guy he expected. Maddy pelted her with questions, got some answers, and copies of Tiny Titans and other comics aimed at her age group.
i stood back, trying to learn all that i could my heart melted when she looked at me with those thankful eyes she has when she’s really, really happy and asked me to read to her. we sat in that store for 35 mins, each page i turned led to more questions, which led me to say over and over again, “i don’t know, maddy” which led the woman behind the counter to smile in our direction.
i left maddy alone to read while i paid for the books she chose, and thanked the woman behind the counter for helping me out. so now i’m trying learn as much as i can about comic books and superheroes so i can be a better father.
Before I go get some tissues, I’m going to let Logelin have the last words:
just when i think i’ve figured things out, i’m reminded that gender identification is malleable and our assumptions are bullshit because i found myself sitting with brooke and my little tomboy, getting my first pedicure. and i fucking loved it.
Seems like Maddy’s off to a good start, and has a good guide to help her out. If she’s willing to read something other than superheroes, can we recommend Jeff Smith’s Bone?
(via Comics Alliance.)
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