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I Feel That This Is Just Goodbye For Now

“And the doors are open now
As the bells are ringing out
‘Cause the man of the hour
Is taking his final bow
Goodbye for now”

And the doors are open now, As the bells are ringing out', Cause the man of the hour, Is taking his final bow, Goodbye for now..

It may have been, “Goodbye for now,” but it began with, “Hello there.” I tell my kids the stories of me discovering Big Fish for the first time, even going into New York City just to see it on the big screen for a special and early premiere. How could I not? I was completely flattened by Edward Scissorhands, which inspired me to be in some sort of moving or still visual arts field. And forget Nightmare Before Christmas because I thought the love story of Sally and Jack was just about the pinnacle of romance. Yes, they were clay, but it was magic clay. My kids always ask about Big Fish. Is there really a fish? IS there really a fish? I tell them there is a fish but you have to see it.

It’s magic and mystery. Is he just a rambling old man spinning stories, or is there real magic?

And of course, it’s both. I just love that. It doesn’t even have to be an ambiguous ending, which makes you wonder if he was just a dying old man wanting to have had a BIG life. There is real magic there, and that is not unlike how I view the world. And of course I always wonder about my father, and now my uncle. What big dreams did those two have that never unfolded, due to sudden death, or long and expected but still too early death? I wonder about my grandfather too, who lived to 100. The movie gives me questions that I want answers to, which I felt when I saw it at 23, at 33, and I will at 43 too. And so on. And maybe it is ok not to have these answers. Maybe it’s ok to get the occasional sigh, flutter, or wink from the universe, telling you it’s all ok.

And maybe better than ok.

Moon Knight cosplay

So when we all had COVID and we were on the mend, and we realized that Scarlet was probably not going to get it, we decided to surprise the kids with tickets to Fan Expo Boston. We hadn’t been there in five years, which as you may remember, was quite eventful. I don’t think it was on our radar, especially before getting COVID, because it’s about as people-y as you can get. It’s a good kind of people-y, though, because nearly everyone there, if not everyone, is both kind and respectful of space. Cassidy decided we should splurge and get fan photos with Ewan McGregor (who they know and love from Obi Wan Kenobi but you know I’m all about Big Fish too) as well as photos with David Tennant and Catherine Tate from Doctor Who. The days leading up to Fan Expo were a little scary because we wanted to make sure we all tested negative, that Scarlet was ok, and that the actors we wanted to see were also ok! COVID was definitely closing in on all of us, and we even saw on Facebook that our favorite artist and author, Karen Hallion, was at risk too because of one or both of her sons testing positive. It was a nail biter but we all made it!

We finally told the kids the plan the night before. All they had known was that there was some sort of surprise. We knew that Catherine Tate had had to cancel on the event, and it was looking dicey with David Tennant. We were so excited, though! We didn’t have a lot of time to plan our costumes, nor the energy we usually require, so Scarlet wore her “Asgard Pride” shirt that I gave her and I decided to push both babies in the stroller and “babywear” Grogu. So I’d look like a mom of three babies! There were some intense and deluxe costumes there that would just blow your mind, but I was proud of my little costume, and people gave me a ton of compliments. “Your baby is so cute!” “Thanks! Which one?” “The one strapped to your chest!” Of course, that one who is NOT real and that I did NOT give birth to is the cute one?! All in good fun, though, because the fake baby moved and talked and it would startle people who were walking by us.

And he IS pretty cute.

And the doors are open now, As the bells are ringing out', Cause the man of the hour, Is taking his final bow, Goodbye for now..

Driving in was awesome because we instantly saw a Catra prom costume from SheRa: Princesses of Power. And a guy walked in front of our van and talked to us because we drive a Stark Industries van (MARVEL reference) and he was wearing a Stark Industries shirt! Magic!

The beginning of the event was magical because it’s a lot of costume gawking, and grinning. Then the first vendor we visited was Karen Hallion! She didn’t have COVID, or at least not yet. We nerded out and gushed a little talking to her and I hope we didn’t overwhelm her. She signed a book I had given Cassidy that she had written, and I bought two pins for Scarlet and me. Isn’t it great when you meet someone you have long admired and they’re cool and humble and kind? I’ve had a great streak with Jodi Picoult, Tim Curry, Bruce Hornsby, and Karen Hallion. After that great meeting, we went Squishmallows hunting because the older kids are obsessed, and got rewarded with cool finds. We also saw some intense robots, puppets, and costumes that just.. suspended reality. It’s like watching a magic show. You DON’T know how they do it, and you also don’t care. It’s nice to just go along for a magical ride. The world may never know how they do it.

And the doors are open now, As the bells are ringing out', Cause the man of the hour, Is taking his final bow, Goodbye for now..

And the doors are open now, As the bells are ringing out', Cause the man of the hour, Is taking his final bow, Goodbye for now..

And the doors are open now, As the bells are ringing out', Cause the man of the hour, Is taking his final bow, Goodbye for now..

“And the sky breaks at dawn
Shedding light upon this town
They’ll all come around
‘Cause the man of the hour
Is taking his final bow
Goodbye for now”

One magical thing that happened was that in this sea of thousands, we saw our favorite pharmacist who obviously lives here, but was out there. We also saw her in the parking lot later, and we were the only two families there at that time. What are the chances? She was a little overwhelmed and out of her element, and I was too, because of the crowd (but not because of the nerd stuff – that IS my element), so it was magical finding one another. Not long after that, it was time to line up to see Ewan McGregor. I was nervous, but not as nervous as I had been for Tim Curry. The line was long and fun and vibrant. The fun employee working there to drum up enthusiasm was hilarious and kept referring to Ewan McGregor’s fine looks. It was so loud that Sawyer cried. We tried holding him but it wasn’t working. Finally, we put him back in the stroller and pushed it back and forth, back and forth and he nodded off. We were whisked right in and everyone was trying to move, move, move fast and I just didn’t know what I was doing or where to put the stroller or where to put my bag. I tried to take it off but it was stuck in my hair. It was a big mess and that’s why I didn’t even see Ewan until he was walking right up to us, smiling.

“Hello there,” he said to Des. And then he shook all of our hands, smiling.

And then after the picture was taken, we walked towards the babies – now both awake in their stroller, and he said, “Are these your kids too?” And he totally smiled and waved and talked to them. That might have been my favorite part! All of us were grinning, and it didn’t go away for a long time. Especially because after the photos, we got our print, and sat down to rest, nurse, eat, drink, etc. and realized we were in a panel with Dominic Monaghan! It was probably Lord of the Rings related, but we did name TWO of our kids after the show LOST. Not one, but TWO.

We then went to line up to meet David Tennant, and found out he had canceled. We were pretty fried by then, and it only got more crowded by the minute, but we did some art shopping and found some gems. I had a protein bar and Rider had some snacks (and obviously Sawyer ate) but we were pretty starving at that point. We wanted to get out of the city, because of the hassles of trying to park and find food with four kids, but I was really craving Au Bon Pain! We wound up finding a close Trader Joe’s in Newton, MA and it was SO empty and charming and delightful. We got a picnic fit for a king and snacked on it all the way home.

With visions of Ewan McGregor (and other magical people) dancing in our heads!

I geeked out over Yasso big time. Yasso, call me!

And the doors are open now, As the bells are ringing out', Cause the man of the hour, Is taking his final bow, Goodbye for now..

And the doors are open now, As the bells are ringing out', Cause the man of the hour, Is taking his final bow, Goodbye for now..

“And the road
The old man paved
The broken seams along the way
The rusted signs, left just for me
He was guiding me, love, his own way
Now the man of the hour is taking his final bow
As the curtain comes down
I feel that this is just goodbye for now”

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5 Comments

  1. The other day, I was discussing the best movies I own and love with a friend. We both agreed that Family Stone and The Family Man were keepers. We discussed The Lake House. She had never seen Big Fish. I told her she was so lucky because it would blow her mind.

  2. It looks like you had such a great time! Doesn’t it feel a little strange after being through the pandemic to be back out in the crowd? What a memorable day for your kids too! Love the costumes.

  3. What a fun experience this must have been for all of you! Meeting and greeting your favorite celebrities and Karen’s book signing made the day even more special and unforgettable. I’m enjoying looking at all these pics over and over!

  4. So fun! We took our 14 year old this weekend to her first ComicCon. She went as Katara! I am so glad the world of imagination and awesomeness like this exists 🙂

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