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One Photo; One Story: I'm Batman

He looked deep into my eyes and recognized me and whispered, “Dad”?

I did not break character and responded in my best super hero voice, “NO, I’m Batman”. He looked hurt, confused, and maybe a bit angry. My son, Devin, quickly scanned the backyard of five year olds and their parents to find me. His head whipped back, he squinted, lowered his eyebrows and asked again with a bit more force, “DaaaaD”?

I smiled under the mask (which was making me sweat profusely) and said, “Batman”.

He tried to lift my mask and cowl off. I gently grabbed his hand and said, “Ok, Yes it’s me. Don’t take the mask off, the real Batman is busy”. “Dad, you’re Batman?” He asked again. “No”, I said. “Look it’s Brendan’s birthday, he thinks Batman can come but Batman is really busy. So he lent me his extra suit.”

He blurted out, “Holy Crap!” “Shh, listen Devin, it’s party and all these kids are expecting Batman, So I’m helping Batman today, Ok? Don’t tell anyone especially Brendan, Ok Pal”?

“OK, Dad”!

“No, Devin. I’m Batman”.

“Wait, Dad. You’re Batman?”

“ No just call me Batman, The real Batman is fighting bad guys”.

I placed him on the ground and patted his head and in my best Batman voice said, “Ok Devin, Be a good boy like Batman says.” He looked at me and ran off. As the party continued Batman posed for photos and talked with the kids.

Every so often I would catch a glimpse of my son looking at me. He was still not quite sure what the truth was, but he would smile and Batman would smile back. Meanwhile across the yard, Dad’s were lined up to take a photo with ‘Catwoman’ played by my wife. I couldn’t do anything about that because for the moment, I was Batman.

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