Today, the whole family went to the Steel City Con. I haven’t been to many conventions. In fact, I’ve only been to this one and this is the third time. I like this convention. It’s big enough to draw some really cool guests and small enough to not be overwhelming. I did a real write up of the convention for The Geek Girl Project that you can read here: Steel City Con – April 2015. This post is about something else.
My youngest son has autism. His symptoms, characteristics, tics, and stims aren’t super detrimental and some people wouldn’t even notice. When we took our oldest child to this convention in December, we left the youngest with relatives. He was very unhappy with us for that. We promised we would take him and now we have.
We were concerned going in how he would react to being in a space with so many people all jammed together in some pretty small places. We explained going in what he should expect – that there were a lot of people, a lot of noise, and sometimes people would bump into him and some of those people would be in costumes. We explained about the lines and that he’d sometimes have to wait. Even though he doesn’t like waiting, he was excited enough about the whole shebang that he seemed willing to do it.
We got there a few minutes before the doors opened. By the time we reached the end of the line, it was already moving so we could not have timed it better. We might have been in line but it was a moving line so it didn’t feel to him like waiting. That first hour, I went off to talk to people and get some signatures and my husband took the kids through the vendor room where everyone found a toy they wanted. By the time I met up with them, they’d gone through about a quarter of the room. When we reached the half way point, it was starting to be a little much for him so we moved to the artist alley. Either the aisles are bigger in there or people move more quickly but it doesn’t feel so crowded. My son then went on to introduce his brother and himself to pretty much everyone he came into contact with. I’ve never seen him do that before and it was adorable and all the artists were very sweet.
As good as he was being, it was starting to wear on him a bit so we took a break. I’d packed a lunch as there isn’t a lot available at the convention center and nothing at all my youngest would eat. We went out to the truck, ate lunch, figured out the game plan for what we still wanted to do and made our way back in.
I left the husband to keep the kids so I could head for the photo opp for Elvira. She was one of the people I most wanted to meet. She was one of my idols a long time ago. I wanted to be either her or Morticia Addams when I grew up. I was very excited to meet her. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, she arrived at the convention later than scheduled and her photo opp was moved to later in the day. I knew I wasn’t going to get that much time out of my kid so I will just have to hope she comes back to Steel City Con another time so I can try again.
By 1pm, the kid was done. He seemed headed for a meltdown, getting upset if anyone so much as brushed past him, getting louder, and at one point, putting his hands over his ears and yelling because I wasn’t doing what he wanted me to. We headed out before he hit an actual meltdown but now we know we can take him to an event like this. After he settled down, I know he had fun. He even says he wants to do it again. That works for me because if he wants to go, that means I get to go too! That makes this geek mama quite happy.