Telling Tad

The big news that broke over the weekend was that Adam West had passed away.  If you don’t know/remember who he was, he was the actor who played Batman in the 1960’s TV series, the 1966 movie, and did many a voiceover of Batman in both LEGO and animation.

So naturally, the first thing the Webmaster and I thought when we saw the news – “how on earth are we going to tell Tad???”

To Tad, Adam West was the live-action Batman that he knew best.  When he became obsessed with Batman at age 4, he wasn’t old enough for pretty much all the Batman stuff out there (and there’s a LOT of stuff out there that is still not appropriate for him – and this was well before the current wave of LEGO Batman).  But the 1966 movie was safe.  It was entertaining.  We watched it a million times between the DVD and the iPad.  It was Adam West’s Batman that he learned to love first.

I finally scraped up the nerve to tell him on Sunday night, by showing him the large page 2 obituary in the Sunday Seattle Times.  “Tad, Adam West died.”

Huge eyes.  Long silence.  “Why did he died?” (Yes, grammar tenses are still rough.)

“He was 88 years old, honey, and he got cancer.”

I could see Tad trying to process this.  “But he created the 1966 Batman movie.  He created my comic books.  He created LEGO Batman 3.”

Yes, Tad said “created.”  I tried to correct him by saying that Adam West had “starred” in them or had been drawn into them, but he hadn’t actually “created” them (although, in Tad’s logic, this makes perfect sense – the role was his, and he created Batman for Tad).

Then Tad ran into the kitchen, where Ane was preparing her lunch box for Monday.  “Ane, did you hear Adam West died?”  Then his face crumpled and he began to cry silently.  Ane and I instantly hugged him.  He was making me cry, too.

I asked him how he was doing a little later, once he had calmed down, and he said “I feel like there’s something empty inside,” patting his chest.  (Just twist the knife in a little deeper, kid…)

Why did I tell him?  I wanted to make sure he knew before he went to school on Monday, just in case he happened to hear about it there.  Now I’m pretty sure he will be telling everyone at school, if he remembers.

There are many grown-ups who probably reacted the same way Tad did when they heard the news.  But I’m betting there are very few 11 year old boys who cried.  Thank you, Adam West, for giving Tad a Batman he could safely love and enjoy – and will continue to love and enjoy for many years to come.

One Response to “Telling Tad”

  1. Linda
    June 12th, 2017 08:17

    Hugs, Tad. Lots of Folk feel like you, Tad. This was the topic of discussion before Worship at Church yesterday morning with lots of ‘older’ Folk who still love Batman related stuff! His Memory sill stay with us. Love to All of you!