This is the tenth post in a series on being part of a Big Couple through Big Brothers Big Sisters. If you haven’t read the previous posts and would like more context, click here for an archive of the posts.
Through the Big Brothers Big Sisters emails we receive, we were notified that we would be able to get tickets to take our Little to Indiana Comic Con for free. Since kids under 12 get in for free, we only needed two tickets: one for my husband and one for me.
We had planned to go the evening of Friday, March 13th, 2015 after I got off of work. Daniel and I picked Ryan up from his house; he was super excited to go.
Downtown Indianapolis was packed, and there was no place to park. After checking with our Little, we decided to park at the university where I work. It’s about a 10 minute walk to the convention center, but we figured we could all use some exercise.
We walked through a mass of cheerleaders and dancers practicing for a competition, and we could overhear some of them talking about “returning to the world of normal people.”
I had to giggle a little bit, since I grew up dancing and cheerleading and attending dance conventions and competitions. It’s interesting being involved in both the dance and “geek/nerd” worlds. My husband and I regularly attend Gen Con, and our choice of sports includes “esports” (League of Legends, mostly) and dance competitions streamed online.
Regardless, we made our way to the section of the convention center where nearly everyone was in some sort of cosplay or “geek culture” clothing.
Cosplay, a portmanteau of the words costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character or idea.
I noticed there were significantly fewer people than I had expected, since Gen Con usually has 50,000+ people each year.
However, we soon found out why there were less people; the vendor hall had closed an hour and a half before we got there.
This is in no way the fault of the BBBS employee who had offered the tickets to matches; she was told everything closed at midnight, and we didn’t bother to check ourselves.
But we didn’t let ruin our evening. We spent some time in a room called “The Game Cave,” where they had various arcade games available with a $5 donation that would go towards Riley Children’s Hospital (check out the charity organization Extra Life here).
Ryan had a great time running between the different arcade games with Daniel and I.
After about an hour or so of gaming, we made the trek back to the car.
I spoke with the BBBS employee who had got us the tickets, and she said there were a few extras from a match that had something come up and wouldn’t be able to go.
So, on Sunday, March 15th, we got up early and went to get Ryan around 11:00am.
Daniel had to work, so we showed Ryan how Daniel clocks in and did a little mini-tour of the theatre my husband works for.
After that, Ryan and I left to head back to the convention center. It was a sunny day, so we parked in the same lot we did on Friday and enjoyed the 10 minute walk in.
Once inside, we walked around the vendor hall for about half an hour. Ryan was amazed at how much stuff there was. He was polite as we moved around the jam-packed vendor hall.
We played a couple of games designed by students from my Alma Mater. We both lost the first game, but Ryan won the second one (I sat out for that round as there were only three spots). He was practically jumping up and down to play the game (which was essentially Pong with digital fireballs).
Ryan got interviewed by some TV/webseries representatives, and he advocated for Pokemon to be treated with respect, kindness, caring, and love.
We didn’t let that stop us, though. We made our way to the vendor hall, so Ryan could pick out something to take home (his mom had given him some spending money). Once he was satisfied with his purchase, we went back into the Game Cave and ran around playing arcade games with the other attendees.
After about an hour of that, Ryan was worn out, “Okay, Stefany. I’m ready to go home.”
But as we were leaving, we noticed a Dippin Dots stand and picked some up. After enjoying the ice cream, we headed back to the car and back to Ryan’s house… both equally worn out but still happy.
Overall thoughts and lessons learned:
-If something doesn’t go as planned, check with your Match Support Specialist (MSS) to see if there are alternate options.
-Gaming conventions are tiring.
-Bring water to conventions for both you and your Little; it’ll save money and keep you hydrated.
Are you (or have you been) part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program? Have you ever been to a convention together? What was your experience like?