At a Hotel near Chicago in April, the Chicago Age Players held an annual convention that showed what happens when you Dream Big about Being Little.
The CAPCon Experience: Thursday
What’s the longest road trip you’ve ever taken? And where were you headed? In the past 6 years, I’ve made more road trips than I can recall. Yesterday, while headed to the Charm City, I looked down at my odometer and saw the miles. Smiling, I thought about how my car had visited ever state east of the Mississippi – except for Louisiana, Maine and New Hampshire.
But the longest of all of those road trips was one that took me to Chicago. And though it lasted 14 hours, it flew by. But fast or slow, where I was headed was worth every second of the travel.
I was in a caravan of two, bringing up the tail end. The backseat and trunk of my car was loaded with bags of enormous legos and a few bags of plastic balls that would fill a ball pit at our destination. The vehicle I followed was filled with the rest of the balls for that ball pit as well as an adult-sized tricycle, strapped to the roof (built by hand by the driver).
Our destination? CAPCon 2013 – Just a bit north of the city of Chicago. CAPCON stands for the Chicago Age Play Convention. It is (what I like to call) a Pure-n-Innocent Age Play Event. Located in a hotel which will remain nameless but I will say was beautiful and well worth the convention rate for the rooms, the CAP took control of every single convention space available within. ABDL-ers from the west coast and east coast (and everywhere in between) attended. There was even a guy who came from Germany.
When I say Pure-n-Innocent, I mean the absence of BDSM, butt whoopins and the like from the actual convention space, but you could do so in your hotel rooms to your little heart’s content. Many actually did.
But Pure-n-Innocent isn’t just the absence of certain things, but also the presence of a nurturing feel in a setting that caters to the gentler side of something we hold dear in our hearts.
As our caravan crossed into Illinois, we left Eastern Stand Time and became time travelers – going back an hour into Central time. Nearing our destination, I began to think back to CAPCon 2012. I remembered the feeling of family that filled us all and turned into friendship that lived far beyond that April weekend a year ago.
Being a bit longer in the tooth than some, I recall how I first made the discovery of ABDL online 16 years ago. There was a site called DPF.com and a few others. And though established conventions and gatherings existed back then, there wasn’t the type of wide-spread instantaneous publicity and advertising that the internet has provided since then. Enormous social networks like FetLife, DailyDiapers, the now-defunctish DiaperSpace and others were in babyland (every pun intended) or hadn’t even been dreamt up yet.
We pulled into the hotel, jumped out of the vehicles, took our luggage up to our room and headed directly over to a nearby restaurant where the other early bird ABDL-ers were waiting. Sitting down at those tables, the feeling of family returned and extended into the new people we met.
But no sooner did I sit down, ordering my first Guinness and beginning to meet the new people at my table, then I jumped back up and excused myself for a moment as I spied the back of someone’s head I simply needed to walk over and say hello to right away.
The gentleman I’m referring to was that German ABDL who also attended CAPCon 2012. He had been flying in the air for at least 12 hours in the past 24 as his travels spanned half the globe. He is a fine, upstanding gent whom my little girl has befriended online and speaks with everyday, via Skype. Walking up behind him, I waited until he was done speaking to the couple across the table. I hadn’t heard his voice in a year and smiled ear-to-ear at the Arnold Schwarzenegger-esque accent he had. Then I interrupted him and gave him a hug. And after answering his questions about how my little girl was doing (Yes, my yittlin is loved by quite a few, near and far. And yes, I’m gloating about that. LOL), I spent the next few minutes getting caught up with him until my Guinness went empty and the food arrived.
Back to the hotel we all went and the first round of the late-night room gatherings got under way. I’ll get into the after-hours parties a bit later, but one of the unique things about the CAPCon convention was how the convention space closed down at 10 pm, but the gatherings went into the wee hours of the morning (pun intended again).
As Thursday night wound down, I moved into my latenight nightowl activities of sitting in the lobby, walking around outside as I smoke and contemplate storylines for future stories. But one thought remained within my mind on that night: Tomorrow, CAPCon 2013 will begin.
14 hours on the road meant nothing to me. All that mattered was that I was there. But even as I drifted off to sleep, my excitement of what was to come would continue to grow, of reunions with friends, of the new extended family that would be and of all that the next three days would hold.
For that moment, it held my heart and that of many others, I’m sure.
Continue on to Part Two