When I read The Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, the one thing I loved was the way that they named the years.
In their post-apocalyptic society they decide not to continue keeping time as we had done previously and instead of having a numbered year, each year would be named based on something that stuck in their minds. I can’t remember them all now, but they were things like. The year the grasshoppers came, The year Jessie learnt to read, The year of the great fire etc
This year has been full of ups and downs. We have lost and gained family members and had too many hospital visits, but I’d like to think when I look back on 2011 that I get this image, and think of it as “The year Jayden met Batman”
It was a great way to spend time as a family, seeing the joy on our son’s face.
We went to the Gold Coast to visit my Mum. We hadn’t seen Nana Max (as she is affectionately known to my kids) since May and Taj had done a lot of growing since then! I struggle not living close to my Mum. I’d love to have her over for dinner, to pop round and discuss our latest reads over a pot of tea. I did miss her a lot when I first moved to WA but I miss her 10 fold now I have kids and I can’t share the hilarious things that they do!
Sometimes I think the anticipation is just as good as the thing itself, This was almost the case with this trip. Jayden was telling anyone who would listen, even before Bali, that he was going on a holiday to see BATMAN! When he said Batman, his voice would get very serious and there would be a huge hand gesture to go with it. It was really exciting. I made sure to introduce Jayden to Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Scooby Doo via cartoons so he could get the most out of this trip and his reaction didn’t fail to disappoint.
The first day we had a quiet day, after traveling all night. Jon and I took it in turns to have a nap while Jayden and his Nana had some bonding time and Taj caught up on his sleep. I think they had a great day together.
The next day Jayden woke up and said “Now we can go see Batman!” There was no distracting him. As we walked into the gates of Movieworld you could see he was overwhelmed. There was just so much to look at. We took a seat at the Looney Tunes “What’s up rock” show, well more accurately we sat on a curb… We watched the whole show, which was actually pretty good, he took some pictures and watched it but as soon as it was finished… you guessed it. “Now we can go see Batman!”
I had organised to meet a friend of mine from school at Movieworld. Alana and I hadn’t seen each other since high school and hadn’t really been friends since 97 or so, so it was exciting to catch up. We’ve recently reconnected through “Words with Friends” of all things, and it’s so nice to reconnect with someone who you have so much in common with. We have the same family values and the same opinions about most things so I was looking forward to seeing her.
We went over into the WB Kidz zone and despite all the amazing rides, couldn’t distract Jayden even for a second, from the fact that he hadn’t yet seen Batman. So I got a 2 minute chat with Alana, her partner and niece before admitting that if I wanted to make it through the day, it would be best to locate Batman ASAP!
We headed back to Batman’s alleyway, but it was empty…
I popped my head into the photo counter and asked when we might expect to see him and the ULTRA FRIENDLY photographer sorted out a good photo package for us and 2 minutes later, my 4 year old, who for all intents and purposes fully believes this scary serious, masked man dressed in black to be the ‘caped crusader’ wanders away from me without even a backwards glance!!!!! Honestly I’ve got it on video!!!
I had been a bit worried that when it came down to it he would be afraid of Batman but he definitely wasn’t! Jayden had a little chat, a photo taken, gave Batman a high five and came back looking about 6 months older. He was so proud of himself!
I won’t forget that 5 minutes as long as I live. It was the memory of a lifetime for him.
We turned the corner and Flash and Green Lantern had just walked out onto Main Street. Jayden just about screamed and went and had his photo taken with them. When the Green Lantern showed him his ring, Jayden asked if he could have it and was a little disappointed when he was told that he couldn’t! We went for a walk to catch up with my friends and then poor Jayden burst into tears. It had all just hit him. I guess he must have felt a little like a 13 yr old at a Justin Bieber concert! He had met his idol! Batman!!!!
Flash and Green Lantern
There were so many other fantastic memories of that day, when he watched the Batman show and walked away shaking after watching Batman be taken into custody and then fought his way through some dancing Ninja’s to save the day. When he went on a ride in a car and gave up half way and walked back, or the second time he visited Batman and took his Daddy down to meet him, I could go on and on.
Poor Taj didn’t get up to anything exciting at Movieworld. He spent most of the day in the pram, and getting frightened by the big costumed Bugs, or the crack of Catwoman’s whip.
Daddy and Nana Max loved seeing everything from Jayden’s point of view. It was pure joy to watch.
Batmobile at Gotham City Cafe
I managed to sneak in my first roller coaster in about 10 years, while Taj had a nap! And I still feel really bad for laughing when a mystery man opened a door while we were in the queue straight into Alana’s back, I hadn’t realised how hurt you were. Sorry Lana!!
At 3:30 pm they have the end of day parade. We sat down on the curb again, giant stuffed Batman in hand, courtesy of Nana. Bugs and Lola come down in an old fashioned car, Sylvester in a cat head shaped car, Daffy and Tweety, The Scooby gang, The Joker, Justice League, Catwoman, Batman and the Batmobile, and the stunt car. They get down the end of main street, circle around again. This time the looney tunes pull out a wicked little dance sequence and everyone interacts with crowd. I can’t say enough how fantastic these guys are. They really make the time to make the kids feel special. It was magical. Batman goes past high fiving everyone and then gets to Jayden. Batman crouches down, points at the Batman toy and tells him (Jayden or the toy?… not sure) that he’s cool, gives him a high five and a ruffle of the hair. Honestly he made Jayden feel like the most special person on the planet and Mum and I were there sitting either side of him with a little tear in our eyes. The Flash was great too and remembered Jayden and had a chat. They all made sure that we had a fantastic day and we really enjoyed it.
The rest of the holiday was great too. We went to Seaworld, and Jayden went on the flume ride and held his hands in the air and screamed as the boat went down the ramp. I was so proud. Both the boys seemed to love the dolphin show, and I LOVED it when a dolphin came up next to us from her pen and started clicking in conversation. Honestly, they are amazing creatures. Mum and I had a fantastic High Tea and I came home with a beautiful glass teapot and some “blooming tea” which I LOVE! Jayden bonded with Mum’s partner Wayne over some xbox games and Taj took his first 3 crawling steps (but saved the real crawl for his Mum when we got home)
We had such a great time, but for me the whole holiday is summed up in that first picture. I smile every time I look at it and love hearing Jayden tell his friends. I went on a holiday and I saw ‘My friend Batman.’