Because My Colleague and I are somewhat older parents– not “old parents,” by today’s standards, but we’re never going to be featured on MTV’s Teen Mom– we had an additional round of genetic testing while Test Subject V was in utero. Everything came out completely average, and we both breathed a small sigh of relief.
The upshot of that testing, though, was that we discovered V’s sex extremely early on, before it could be detected via ultrasound.
All of this leads to a scene where I, overwhelmed father to be, just starting to wrap his head around the idea that he was going to have a daughter, found himself wondering the aisles of Babies R Us with his wife, trying to figure out how car seat and stroller systems work and whether or not you needed one, just completely experiencing sticker shock at everything.
And then I saw this onesie. This Batgirl onesie. And I knew that I was going to watch superhero cartoons with her just like my mother had with me, and that I wanted her to love comics as much as I did, and I couldn’t leave the store without it.
My Colleague humored me, as it was my money if I wanted to waste it.
I’m really more of a Marvel fan than a DC guy— I haven’t really enjoyed much DC since they decided to go all grimdark and I still long for the glory days of the Giffen and DeMatteis Justice League. I like the Bat-family well enough, but my Batman will always be either Michael Keaton or Adam West (with Casey Kasem as the voice of Robin, natch).
When I was a kid, my mom would watch Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends with me. My first comic was an issue of Spidey Super Stories. I grew up addicted to Marvel’s mutant books. I’m just not a huge Batman guy.
But I love this onesie so, so much. Not because of a particular investment in Batgirl (though I love Barbara Gordon and Cassie Cain), but because it’s the first thing that I got that let me think about passing my fandom down to my kid.
And even more than that, it’s the first thing that I got that was really for Test Subject V, for her, and not just for “a baby.” This was the first purchase I made for her thinking of her as a person.
And I know my sense of her as a person will grow and change so much over the years, but this is where it began. And I want her to want to be a super-hero, to fight for justice, and to help ensure safety for the downtrodden and fairness for the less fortunate.
Plus, she’s just so damned cute in it.