My son has found a deep love of Spider-Man. I'm not sure where he got the idea - Stephen is a Star Wars, Batman, and LotR guy. In all honesty, I'm only a geek by proxy. But I do enjoy it! All that being said, Spider-Man isn't really something you'll find on our TV or bookshelves. We're not sure when it happened, but Shep decided to glom onto him and the love.is.real.
I'm certainly young in my momming days as my son isn't even two years old yet. In this stage of parenting, I'm soaking up the joy and exhilaration of a boy discovering the B52's for the first time. (Yes, it was Rock Lobster; and yes, it was magical.) My son learns something new every day and surprises me with his intuition. His grandfather and I remarked that he loves to use tools and take things apart, and then figure out how to put it back together. Will he be a future engineer? A mechanic?
His personality is revealing itself before my very eyes. Shep, my not-quite-two-year-old has interests and preferences and affinities. And in some small niggling part of my mind, I know this means he's also learning prejudices and biases, disinterests, and definitely disagreements. I'm wary of what I'm instilling in him. As a mom who struggles not to openly curse, am I teaching him decency and restraint? Or is he learning to be filterless and rough around the edges?
It should be telling that the last two paragraphs ended in questions. There's so much in Shep's life that is uncertain or unknown right now. As time moves forward, his path will unfold. He has to walk that path himself; I can only provide guidance. The part of me that is a not-so-subtle control freak is panicking. Thankfully, there's another part of me - addicted to the thrill of seeing my child learn new things every day. So we charge into the parenting unknown on a hope and a prayer.
Spider-Man is a great choice, if I'm being honest. He's corny and young and full of hope and a sense of purpose. Like most heroes, his past isn't perfect. Generally speaking, he has pretty cool fightin' skills and the whole frenemy thing is a storyline I can get into. Today, Stephen took Shep on a daddy-day-date. They enjoyed tacos for lunch and then went shopping for new shoes together. My son rushed toward me when they arrived home, stomping his new light-up Spider-Man shoes to show off. Still a size too big, but I doubt I'll be able to pry them off his feet.
Can I find a way to squeeze a love for pie or Gilmore Girls in between Star Wars, Spider-Man, and the B52's? I hope that Shep can learn all of the best from Stephen and I - and forgive and forget the worst. It's perfectly fine if he never watches an episode of Long Island Medium (my guilty pleasure). Hopefully he'll learn a better party trick than knowing the names of the Fellowship's weapons (yes, they all have names). Spidey can stay as long as he likes. This momma will always remember him as Shep's first hero-love.