(To be clear here, I said teared up, not wept.)
A couple of weeks ago the boys (they’re 14 and 12 for the uninitiated) and I went out to see Captain America, the First Avenger. Without a doubt this was the best superhero movie we saw all summer and definitely one of the top 3 I’ve seen since the current superhero movie run began.
Seeing movies like this with the boys is important to me. Of all the geek stuff I am into, comics are my #1 passion. Aside from a brief collection stoppage when I first got married, I have collected comics since I was about 13. I have worked hard to pass this along to both boys. I started out sharing comics with them early, both reading them to the kids and getting additional superhero books for them to read. They both have at least a long box of their own (which hold double capacity the way they have them piled and jammed in there, no CGC 9.8 ratings in there ).
The along came the superhero movies. When X-Men came out in 2000 they were way too young to watch it with me. I showed them clips and trailers though, longing for the day when we could share the full experience. Little did I know then how comic book movies would explode through the 2000s. So many great (and good) movies were made. More often than not I went to see them alone or worked to convince a friend to hit the movies with me. My wife is geek adjacent (thank Wil Wheaton) so she understands my love for these things but that doesn’t always extend to sharing that experience (unless Hugh Jackman is in the movie).
So accelerate now to the closing minutes of Captain America. Sure it’s a bit sad as we realize that Steve will never get that dance. But that’s not what choked me up. As I watched the last minutes of that movie, after watching so many fun superhero movies with the boys this summer, I realized what a great summer it has been. At a certain level this is what I always wanted Fatherhood to be, to share my interests and passions and to pass them along. Then I realized that they’re 14 and 12, they were just toddlers when X-Men came out. But it seems like just yesterday. And now I have only a few years left with them to share these experiences. I want to cherish each and every opportunity I have over the next few years before they head off to college and their own, independent lives.
And that my friends, is why I teared up (I did not weep) at the end of Captain America. They were tears of joy and love for my boys who all to soon will be men.