"Bouncing Off the Walls" — Hero Meets Hero at Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

By Jessica Yahner
05 Jul 2013

Adam gets ready to see the show
Adam gets ready to see the show

For my son's fifth birthday, I surprised him with tickets to see — and meet — his hero in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

When I found out that I was expecting my son, there was little doubt in my mind that he would be a "theatre kid." His father is a vocalist and music director, I'm a dance teacher, and while awaiting his arrival, I directed my first local musical theatre production. It seemed a foregone conclusion that Adam would have a flair for the dramatic.

I had no idea just how dramatic that flair would be, however, until Adam made his grand and completely unexpected entrance into the world 13 weeks ahead of schedule. He was painfully tiny, he was critically ill and he was the strongest person I had ever seen. He fought through six endless months in the hospital, through twelve trips to the operating room, through three years with a tracheotomy and through two years of mechanical ventilation. Every moment, every breath, every milestone was a victory won with a grace and determination far beyond his age. Adam has triumphed over every challenge he has faced and has greeted each morning with a smile. He is my hero in every possible way. He loves his life and he loves his family. Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention that he also loves Spider-Man.

As the extraordinary occasion of my little hero's fifth birthday was approaching, I could think of no better way to celebrate than to let him see his hero live and in person. Through some wonderfully generous special arranging, a plot was hatched to give Adam the ultimate Spider-Man birthday surprise: We had "landing zone" seats to see Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, followed by a trip backstage to meet the man himself. As we approached the big day, it became harder and harder for everyone in our family not to spill the exciting news, but I managed to get Adam on the bus to start our adventure with no idea what was in store.


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