San Diego Comic-Con 2022 just concluded this past Sunday after making its comeback for the first time since 2019 due to the required hiatus caused by the covid-19 pandemic. While it was a slightly more subdued con than we have seen in years past, it was still a great experience that brings some unique life to our amazing city of San Diego once a year.
For those that are not familiar, Comic-Con is a celebration of pop culture including books, art, movies, and TV to name a few. Comic-Con is a multi-day event filled with interactive experiences, panels of some of your favorite actors, producers, artists, chefs, writers and musicians, and opportunities to discover some individual creators trying to get some exposure for their work. For many, Comic-Con is a family affair.
That is especially true for my family. My father is a big fan of a lot of different pop culture fandoms like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Marvel. Growing up, it was big family event when one of these movies came out. If a movie had a midnight release, my dad would spend weeks convincing my mom to let us all go, and if we were lucky, he even convinced her to let us have a sick day from school the next day due to the little sleep we got the night before. It was magical, and something us kids looked forward to every year. The excitement built from the moment we saw a trailer or movie poster promoting the film, even if we had to wait a year for the release.
Although I am no longer a kid in need of supervision, most of the time at least, I can still feel that magic. I am also lucky enough that I have also been able to experience an event that brings those feelings flooding back, and that event is Comic-Con. My family started going to Comic-Con when we first moved to San Diego. One of my first years going, we got up at 4am and went to get in line so we could get into the infamous Hall H to see a Star Trek panel. That day, Sir Patrick Stewart and William Shatner were going to be speaking at a panel and my father’s excitement was infectious. By 9:30 AM the event workers (affectionately referred to as the Blinky Blinks for their blinking vests) were letting people into the hall for the first panel at 10:00AM. We made it all the way to the very front of the line when they stopped letting people in and said the hall was full. While we were disappointed to miss the first panel, there were several other panels to see in Hall H that day, and we were next in line so we were confident we would make it into the hall before the Star Trek panel. By 1:00PM, the line still had not moved and no one was being let into the hall, still we kept the hope alive and distracted ourselves with line games, people watching and admiring some amazing cosplay, making friends with those in line around us, and just chatting as a family.
We kept the hope alive until the Star Trek panel began at 3:00PM and we were still sitting at the front of the line, patiently waiting for a spot inside. We didn’t make it into the panel that day, and to say my dad was crushed is an understatement. We have since learned our lesson and participate in the camp out and night before wristband lines for Hall H if we have something we really want to see. But we still had a great time. We had this incredibly unique shared experience and got to sit on the grass in line in beautiful San Diego and simply spend uninterrupted time together.
At this year’s Comic-Con, this reminder of family time and shared experiences was brought up to me again when Kevin Smith shared a touching story about watching the Guardians of the Galaxy 3 trailer with his son at the Marvel panel. He said in that moment he remembered having a shared experience similar to that feeling with his son when he would go to the movies with his father who has since passed away. In that moment with his son watching a movie trailer, he said he felt his dad’s spirit with him and his son, and it brought tears to his eyes. I truly believe there is magic to be had in these little moments in life if we take the time to be fully present and see the moments for what they are.
So how does Comic-Con relate to your family law case? For me, it’s a reminder to take that time with your kids and make the memories that will feel like magic to them. For you, maybe Comic-Con is not your thing and instead it is a sporting event, place you like to go, cooking a meal, or simply an activity you enjoy doing together. If you are going through a divorce or child custody case, it becomes so easy to get lost in the stress and frustration of the day to day and you can easily lose sight of what is truly important to you, your kids and family. It is easy to lose sight of these most valuable things even when you aren’t experiencing an incredibly stressful event like divorce or a custody dispute. Adding that stressor on top of everything else often becomes overwhelming and it can easily consume us if we are not careful.
If you can put the fight aside for a while and focus on your kids and making these moments happen, then you have won. Those experiences are the ones your kids will remember for the rest of their lives. That magical feeling will stick with them and help them through the pain, confusion and loneliness of a divorce or custody dispute. You can be a superhero parent in those moments.
To make things even better for your kids, and yourself, try to keep these co-parenting tips in mind when planning a vacation or special outing with your kids:
- Communicate-Clear communication is key to a healthy and effective co-parenting relationship. Let your co-parent know what special plans, events, etc. you want to experience with your child and plan as early as possible in advance. Keep your co-parent apprised of your plans so they are comfortable with the event and know where you and the child will be in case of emergencies. Keep your expectations clear on what you and the child will be doing so things like phone calls with the co-parent and the child do not interrupt your special time.
- Flexibility- Be flexible when you can with your co-parent and your parenting schedule. Good will goes both ways and if you are flexible with special events and vacations your co-parent wants to take with your child, then they may be more apt to be flexible with you and your special event or vacation too.
- Focus-Remember that this is for your kiddo. You want what is in the best interest of your child, and you want them to feel happy, safe and cared for. Don’t lose focus of that. If you are acting with, you’re the best interest of your child in the front of your mind as your reasoning behind doing something, then you are on the right path. Don’t let disagreements with your co-parent distract you from what is most important to you, your child.
Now go out there and make some magical moments! And if you ever need someone in your corner to help you navigate your divorce of custody case, Butler Law is here for you.