Growing up as a geek, was hard. At least it was for me. We didn't have shows like Big Bang Theory to show us that geeks could be cool.
Kids like me didn't live in my neighborhood. Kids like me didn't go to my Elementary school. I wondered if kids like me existed anywhere. Sometimes, I thought it was because my parents named me Anne instead of something popular, like Jennifer. I was sure if I'd been named Jennifer I would have totally been popular.
Yeah, don't try to understand. It's kid logic.
Of course I wasn't alone forever. Kids like me started to come together in Jr. High School. We started a club called The Dinner Party since we thought we were as cool as The Breakfast Club, and all cool came right from John Hughes movies. In truth, we weren't quite the end-all-be-all of geek chic, but for the first time, people got me.
In High School I discovered things like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Bulletin Board Systems. For me, this opened up a whole new world. I had an extended community of passionate misfits to call my own. And now we were armed. We had computers.
Now that I have kids, I want them to have community as well. Reagan can spend hours planning video game campaigns with friends, and discussing Anime. Piper loves anything Japanese, anime, or fantasy. Bridget loves fantasy and animals. And the littles? They love anything Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, or Super Hero.
I tell people that with seven kids, I'm possibly raising the next generation of geeks single-handedly.
Still, while I'm blessed to have friends who have embraced my kids and who allow them outlets to share their geeky wonder, they need their own people. This is where conventions come in.
I took Reagan to CONvergence this weekend. It's a local Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention here in the Twin Cities. He always loves it. I always love it. It's kind of my yearly vacation. I go get my nerd on with seven thousand of my closest friends. Dominic stays home and makes sure no one burns the house down (I kid, he does an amazing job while I'm away).
At CONvergence Reagan largely hangs out in the Teen Room, playing Magic and snacking, which I joke he can do in a friends basement. But he really does have the best time. He meets other kids like him. He meets His People.
Now Piper wants to go, and I'm explaining to her what she can expect, what she might like to get out of a Con experience, and how comfortable she's going to be in a crowd of seven thousand people. Because, you know, Asperger's is a bitch sometimes. You gotta be prepared.
I see the day coming, where the Basso Clan will enter CONvergence, and perhaps take over. I'd say that the other con goers should be afraid, but I think my kids will be benevolent overlords. You know, because I raised them right.