Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thank you, Stan Lee

*Edited to add: I'd really like Stan Lee to know what an impact he had on Son - so I am hoping that if you read this - you'll Tweet this to @TheRealStanLee in the hopes that he actually gets to know how much gratitude we feel towards him...

OK, so you all know that this blog is mostly about my personal journey into health and wellness for myself and my family.

Most of you have been around long enough to see pics of Step-Daughter, Son and Baby Girl.

And some of you may even remember that Son has high-functioning autism.

Well what you may not know is that the key for me first really getting through to Son was all thanks to Stan Lee because that magical key was SPIDERMAN.

Some children under the autism spectrum disorder "umbrella" fixate on things like trains or cars or dinosaurs but Son fixated very early on, on Spiderman.

Yes, I mean the movie with Tobey Maguire.

Son actually kind of ruined that movie for me because we had to watch it SO MANY TIMES!!!

You see, Son was diagnosed in Dec 2004, about a month after my Mom died and about a month before I finally called it quits on my marriage to Son's father.

Son would get caught up in things, lost in his own world a LOT more before he was diagnosed and even early on but he was so fascinated and fixated on Spiderman that it always gave me an "in" to his world.

I got Son Spiderman posters, games, cuddly toys and action figures. We had the movie and some of the cartoons on DVD. He wore Spiderman shoes, clothes (especially hats) and received Spiderman stickers when I *finally* got him potty-trained.

As he eventually learned to communicate better - I started to introduce more of the Marvel heroes to him. The Incredible Hulk (via the old TV show), the X-Men (via cartoons and then the movies), Ironman (via the cartoon and then the movies) as well as some of my DC faves... Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman but Marvel was always Son's favourite.

We have Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters and Marvels DVD and he loves to watch that too.

Well, last summer, Hubs, Son, Baby Girl and I attended FanExpo in Toronto with S-girl and Jeebus. (Step-Daughter was with her mother).

Why did we go?

Because Stan Lee was going to be there.

Son thought that it was one of the most awesome things in his entire life (to date).

We had Deluxe passes and that enabled us to attend the Stan Lee Q & A.

To ensure we got in, I sat in a large line and ended up breast-feeding Baby Girl while I was sitting there since Hubs and Son were out checking out the rest of the Expo.

Well, I have to say that listening to Stan Lee was a highlight for Hubs and I also because he is so engaging and personable.

The coolest part of the Q&A was when Stan was taking questions from the crowd and Son actually got to ask him a question.

(His question was: "Was Spiderman the first character you ever created?")

We had no idea what Son was going to ask - but I was tearing up when Son was about to speak because when he was first diagnosed, I had no idea on what his capacity and ability to communicate with others would be.

I tended to understand him fairly well but most people couldn't. He didn't even have many words.

So seeing him get to ask Stan Lee a question, that Son thought of on his very own was incredible to me.

It reminded me how thankful I am that Stan Lee created Spiderman because without that character - who knows how accessible Son's world would have been to me?

And the fact that superheroes are still a large part of his world really works for me because I can understand the joy that they can bring into a person's life (not just a child's).

Ever since I attended FanExpo, I have thought about writing a post about the experience - and especially to thank Stan Lee but I am a procrastinator so I thought I would do it today.

Thank you, Stan Lee for creating so many heroes that I began to enjoy in my childhood and that helped me and the world relate to and communicate with my son.

Here's Son before he was diagnosed, having a freak out (Sept 21, 2004).

July 10, 2004 - Spiderman shirt
This is one of the items Stan signed via mail (not at FanExpo)

Myself & Son wearing 2 of his Spiderman hats in '09

Son at FanExpo Toronto 2010

And a very short video of Stan Lee...


  1. This is great. I don't even have anything else to say! I was a great read!


  2. What a truly wonderful story!

    Thank you for sharing. I am really humbled by this story, thank you for writing it.

    You are clearly a very devoted mother, and i think you are just simply amazing to be doing everything that you are doing and also have such focus on your weight loss and health.

    You really rock!!


  3. What a great post. I think this is just wonderful and you should really write Stan Lee a letter. I think he is amazing and I don't blame your son one bit for idolizing him. He could pick worse role models. And How AMAZING that he was able to ask that question in front of all those people. WHat a victory!

  4. It is beyond fantastic that you have this bond and way in with your son. I think Stan Lee would be flattered and happy to know what his character is doing for your family. :) Thank you for sharing.

  5. Thank you, ladies :>

    Son's world has expanded to DC as well as Marvel plus Star Wars and Star Trek but it still gives us common ground to relate on. :>