Greetings O keeper of the shrine! I just had a great Aquaman themed weekend with my boys that I'd like to share in the hopes of inspiring others. Well no, it's mostly about feeding my own ego if I'm going to be honest about it.
My sons Conor (7) and Rick (4), proud F.O.A.M. members both, had been looking forward to our second annual Aquaman's birthday celebration for some time now, and it turned out to be the perfect cure for the post holiday doldrums. On a Saturday morning we started the festivities with Aquaman-gifts, which included Mego style Aquaman and Sea Ghost figures, wooden boat kits, and some comics from the dollar bin. The Megos were a big hit.
Conor is very imaginative, and never pretends to be Aquaman or Batman or Luke Skywalker preferring instead to invent his own characters. I have always encouraged this, so our next activity was to create our own underwater heroes and draw them on DIY trading (index) cards complete with powers and abilities on the back. He is particularly proud of Sea Bat and the Jellyfish.
We then watched the new Throne of Atlantis film whilst snacking on Goldfish and Swedish Fish candies. Both boys loved the movie but there favorite part by far was the Black Manta/Shark scene and they got really excited when Aquaman said "outrageous." It's a commonly uttered exclamation around here.
In the evening we went out for fish and chips, since that is Aquaman's favorite, then home for Aqua-soda floats, via the DC Heroes cookbook, for dessert. Bedtime being right around the corner, we made a bunk bed submarine, into which, the three of us crammed to read comics by the light of a small camping lantern all the while being lulled to sleep by the humpback whale lullabies right outside our bed sheet. I mean hull.
On Sunday the DC Heroes Cookbook once again came in handy as we broke our fast with Aquaman breakfast cereal, and watched a few Filmation Aquaman episodes. Then we all headed out to the NY Aquarium on Coney Island for the educational portion of the weekend. Rick, in particular, was fascinated by the walruses. He was Aqualad for Halloween in 2013, and I bought him a stuffed walrus to go with his costume. He has slept with "Tusky" ever since and was very excited to see actual walruses up close for the first time.
We then adjourned to the board walk to see the ocean and wish the Sea King a happy birthday with the Aqua-cupcakes provided by my lovely wife, Helena, who has always been a good sport, but has now graduated to fully on board with our Aqua- shenanigans. Or should that be aquananigans? No, upon further inspection Aqua-shenanigans will do nicely.
I'm not fool enough to think for one second that my kids like Aquaman for any other reason than the fact that I do, and they are still young enough to look up to me. But I have always thought that if a child shows an interest in something, you need to run with that interest and take it to its furthest reaches. My wife and I have been using Aquaman as a vehicle to explore marine biology and maritime history (which is a fancy way to say "we love sharks and anything to do with pirates and submarines is cool!" in kid speak). For that matter, Aquaman got my boys to eat something they never would have tried otherwise (granola in their cereal) and order something in a restaurant other than chicken fingers (fish and chips. Not exactly health food but it's a start.) I don't pretend to be Super Dad, but it seems to me that imagination is in short supply these days, even though It's not a difficult thing to foster in the mind of a child.
In closing thank you for the support you provide through the shrine as both a resource and an inspiration. Thank you for F.O.A.M. which helps make little dreamers feel that they are a part of something bigger.
Fan the Flame and ride the wave!