Some families like to go to football games together. Others might enjoy the theater or riding bikes. One of my friends’ family are all members of a rock climbing club and spend time every week scaling a tall wall. My family? We’re geeks.

Although my ex-husband and I were introduced long ago because we both were active in theater and had similar ideologies, the things that drew us together, that we passed on to our children, and about which we can still have happy, companionable discussions even post-divorce are “Star Trek,” “Star Wars” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Our children own wands like Harry Potter’s and collectible Spider-Man comic books. They draw manga and play trading card games. While some families will forever remember that one camping trip or when they made the tallest sandcastle on the beach, I’m pretty sure my family will forever remember the year when Comic Con finally came to Des Moines. And though each of us can be varying shades of passionate about any form of science fiction or fantasy, the one that draws the entire family to the hearth is “Doctor Who.” On Saturday nights, at least during the season, we are committed to that hour together to watch the newest adventures through space and time with the Doctor. We liked to compare the lead-up to last year’s 50th anniversary event to the lead-up to the Super Bowl for a football fan – if the Super Bowl only happened once every 50 years.

I suppose it may be a bit of a risk coming out as a geek. I’m sure it’s always a shock when people find out their company accountant is into science fiction. An even bigger risk is outing my kids when they are at an age when how you are seen by your peers seems like the most important thing in the world. But I’ll tell you a secret: I think it is something that has nurtured the best in them. It speaks to their creativity, their individualism and their idealism. It stretches their minds and their viewpoints. Their heroes model social consciousness and rising above adversity. And most years, we don’t have to wait until Halloween to dress up. Win-win.

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Eileen Jackson
Business Manager, Business Record