When you meet my oldest offspring for the first time, he will introduce himself as The Doctor. He’ll most likely be wearing a dry-clean-only suit jacket that I accidentally ran through the washer and now has three-quarter length cuffs. Oh, and a bow tie with blue Converses.
For that narrow margin of my demographic that watches sci-fi time travel episodic television, you’ve probably guessed that my son is currently obsessed with Dr. Who, having watched all six seasons this summer via Netflix.
For those of you who aren’t, well, Whovians, Dr. Who is a BBC television program with a protagonist called “the Doctor.” The Doctor is an alien in human form that travels through time and space in a British police box (otherwise known as the TARDIS—Time And Relevant Dimensions In Space). I know. My brain is already winded.
This dramatic shift follows years of superhero worship and a brief stint idolizing Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a hooded assassin from a video game he shouldn’t have been playing in the first place. So I guess, all things considered, Dr. Who is a welcome change.
And heavens knows, the Belyoak’s doors have always been open to fictional characters. In fact, we’re like a halfway house for Marvel superheroes, little ponies and time lords. So walk through our threshold and you better be prepared for heated discussions on alternate Spiderman costumes, allusions to Princess Celestia, Dr. Who knock-knock jokes (they write themselves, really) and any crossovers that might exist. For those that may be interested, there is, in fact, a Dr. Who/My Little Pony episode on YouTube called Dr. Hooves. As Leah would say, “Get it?”
I have no room to judge. When I was six, I believed I was Wonder Woman’s daughter, orphaned so that she could continue to save the universe. So I understand the allure of assuming an alternate identity. In fact, my previous work as the imaginary birth child of a fictional Amazon warrior princess enabled me to celebrate my boy’s initial infatuation with Spiderman. And I admit, I kinda miss the days when, wearing a threadbare Spiderman costume, he would follow me down the grocery aisles. Periodically he would crouch amidst the canned goods and extend his hands in web-shooting fashion. In those moments, I was simultaneously Wonder Mother and Matron Saint of Imagination.
These days I question my ability to handle either of those roles. Just the other day, I asked Mr. Charming if my little Time Lord needed a refrigerator box from which to fashion his own TARDIS or a therapy consult. It’s a fine line, people. A fine line.
So we’re going to sit this one out in hopes that at some point his interest in girls overrides his interest in Dr. Who. I’m guessing that’s the point at which he’ll begin dressing like an 11-year old again and stop flashing his Sonic Screwdriver at strangers. And maybe he’ll even remember to wear deodorant.
Hey, if my children can be superheros and time lords, I can afford to dream big. Right?