Mar. 22, 2017

Harry Potter

When my son was younger, he received, as a gift, the book Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone. He showed no interest in it at all. His teachers at school tried to encourage him to read the Harry Potter series especially after receiving the second book, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. I suppose if I had shown interest in them, he might have had more encouragement and reason to read them.

Twice a month, my friend Glenda and I would take our sons to the movies to see whatever kid’s movie was out. When The Sorcerer’s Stone came out in theaters, it was her turn to take them. I was so relieved it fell on her turn. I knew it was a Sci-Fi, Fantasy film and I really did not wish to go.

However, Glenda called me the day before they were supposed to go to the movies, “Tyler is sick so, I don’t think we’re going this time. You and Reese go ahead and I’ll catch the next movie with the boys.”

I grumbled but I wasn’t going to disappoint my son for “movie day.” We ended up going alone. I was very surprised after the movie. I loved it! I fell so in love with Harry Potter, I went home and read The Sorcerer’s Stone that same night.

Since my first movie, I have collected all of the books, all of the movies, and all of the video games. All of which I have read, played, or watched at least three times each. When I had started home schooling Reese part of his reading lessons was reading both books. He really enjoyed them. For a child who hated to read, he was looking forward to his reading assignments.

It used to drive me nuts when ignorant people would say the dumbest things like, “I read where someone was a witch in real life and these are real spells! Harry Potter is based on real witchcraft!” I could not believe some of my own family members soaked up the controversy and propaganda surrounding Harry Potter and tried to pass it off as fact. I was stunned, I could only squint my eyes at them while thinking to myself that it was amazing we were of the same bloodline. They probably would have lost their minds if they had seen me chase my son around the house with my magic wand (a plastic mixing spoon) yelling, “I’m going to turn you into a toad!”

Reese would roll his eyes at me and say, “Harry doesn’t turn people into toads, Mom. He’s a good wizard, remember?”

“Yeah, well, I’m Draco Malfoy then!”

When The Chamber of Secrets came to the theaters, I used that as a field trip day. My young son loved to sit in the first row of the cinema which was difficult for me. As an adult, I would have to crane my neck backwards to see the screen adequately enough. So, upon entering the theater, I asked him, “Do we have to sit in the front row?”

The 20-something moviegoers already sitting in the theater answered in unison, “Yes Mom!”

I turned to the crowd and said, “Oh hush you devil worshipers!” My son rolled his eyes at me again and went to sit in the front row.

We went on to read Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. At the showing of those two movies, we collected several of my son’s friends and took the whole brood to the movies to see them. We all had a blast!

Months before the 900-page book, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix came out, the home school association (religiously based) chastised me for letting him read such material. Even when I said something about the two of us reading the Bible as a Bible School course, they balked. She wanted me to have him read more classical stories like Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, to name a few.

However, I cut her off at the get-go, “Listen, if my son, who hates to read, wants to read a 900-page book and is excited about it, he’s reading the book!”

We did read The Catcher in the Rye, some poetry, short stories and such but we also continued reading the Harry Potter series. Although we started The Order of the Phoenixlate, we did finished in record time near the end of his school year. True to form, when the movie came out, we gathered his friends together and went to see that movie as well.

We already had Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince and I was preparing to start off his next school year with that one. He couldn’t wait though and we started reading it early. I was on vacation in Ohio when Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows came out.

My husband, Reese, had pre-paid for it as an anniversary gift. We only had to wait for the release which happened, as I said, while we were out of town. I called my daughter, Amber, and asked her to get the pre-paid ticket off my desk and run by the bookstore and pick it up. “Please make sure it’s there when we get home.”

I called every day to ask if she had picked it up yet. “Not yet,” she said for three days in a row.

I told her on one phone call, “You better make sure it’s there, I will put you in an orphanage when I get home if it’s not! I love you, but I love Harry Potter more,” I sternly said into the phone.

“Mom, I’m 22 and I don’t live at home anymore. You can’t put me in an orphanage,” she responding laughing at me.

“I’ll take my magic wand (the plastic mixing spoon) and turn you into a 12 year old,” I threatened. I could hear her rolling her eyes at me and said, “Don’t you roll your eyes at me, honey, I’ll roll them to the back of your head!”

When she finally did decide to pick up The Deathly Hallows for me, she couldn’t find the ticket anywhere. I had my husband search the car for it thinking that maybe we had put it in the glove compartment or something since I’m so forgetful. He does that from time to time when he thinks I will forget to take things with us. It wasn’t there.

I called Amber back and insisted, “It’s there! Daddy looked for it in the car; it is not with us. I want that book and I don’t care if you have to stand in line at Books-A-Million at the stroke of midnight to get it either!”

“I’ll get it, don’t worry,” she promised.

On the way home, we found the ticket - it was in the console. I felt bad because I had threatened to turn my daughter into a 12 year old prepubescent child again. When we got home, I found a copy on my desk. Amber had gone and bought it for me so I would have it when we got home. She claims she did it because she loves me, but I secretly think it was because she’s afraid of my magic wand.