Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Thoughts On Bat Kid San Francisco

Last week, the Make-A-Wish folks in San Francisco went all out for a little kid with leukemia, Miles Scott.  San Francisco was turned into Gotham for a day.  People loaned Lambourginis to be used as Batmobiles.  The Chief of Police issued videotaped calls out to Bat Kid to save the day.  Actors dressed up as a damsel in distress to be saved, the Riddler, and a kidnapped team mascot needing a rescue.  Photos and tweets of the proceedings went viral.  Hundreds of adults had way more fun than the kid doing all this in a chance to act out their own Batman fantasies.  Even President Obama sent out his first-ever Vine message -- and it was to Miles.
Check out all the details here.

People have tweeted and commented all over cyberspace about how wonderful all this was.  I had two main thoughts, one of which I mentioned above: that the adults were having more fun than Miles.
The other thought was sadness.
Not for Miles and his disease, but for all the other little kids who want with all their hearts to be Batman or Wonder Woman for a day but will never have the chance.  Oh sure, it's easy enough for an adult to understand that this happened out of survivors' guilt and as an excuse for the adults to have fun in the name of helping a kid.  But how many children can grasp that?  Very few.  And I wonder how many of them who saw this are secretly wishing for leukemia so that they can have a day like this.
Yes, I'm glad for Miles and for all the folks who had fun doing all this.  But I feel bad for every other child who saw it and wondered, "Why him?  Why not me?" and then felt guilty for wondering.
Was the price of making one little guy have the perfect day worth the price of making so many others feel bad?  I wonder.
None of this, of course, is Miles' fault.  Naturally, I'd love to see us beat cancer -- and give Miles a chance to grow up healthy.  But I'd rather give my money to research to help many people instead of a tiny percentage.
My opinion here will be unpopular, I'm sure.  But I still feel for all the kids who DIDN'T get to be Bat Kid this week, some of whom could've used the ego boost every bit as much as Miles.


  1. I get why they did it, but I agree with you. There are a lot of children who have survived illnesses and still do not get the opportunity to do something this big.

    1. It's not just the sick kids; it's the kids in the foster system, the kids whose parents are too busy, the kids in huge families who never get the chance to feel special, the precocious kids who are overlooked at school because all the attention goes to the underachievers and the behavior problems, the shy kids..... Heck, I could be here all day.

  2. I have to admit I didn't think about the kids that could be feeling left out. Good point.

  3. I've been googling high and low to see if there's anybody who would see the things this way. I am glad to once again prove that I'm not a unique snowflake.
    Very nicely put, Miss Shafer.