Scarlett (who will be 7 next month) and I (who will be 43 in July-but keep that to yourselves) have started reading Harry Potter. She’s never seen any of the movies because I wanted her to experience these characters through the books first. Plus, she was just too young.
Even though J.K. Rowling is bonkers and kind of a horrible human being where trans-rights (among others I would suspect) are concerned, its still a great series and I’m excited to share it with her. I can share with her how Harry persevered, how Hermoine saved them all multiple times and didn’t get nearly enough credit for it, among other things that are so pivotal to childhood and finding your own way.
I pulled out my 20 + year old paperback copy from the shelf and immediately stuck my nose in the book to take a big whif. I love the smell of old books. Scarlett asked what I was doing and I let her stick her nose into the book. She scrunched her nose up and said, “that smells like bananas.” This is her go to response for anything that smells different than what she expects. I’m not sure why bananas, since she’ eats bananas regularly and knows exactly what they smell like.
Reading it outloud is very different from reading it in my head. I forgot about all the Irish and Scottish names. I stumbled over Seamus, even though I knew who he was and how to say it. I still said Sea-mus instead of Sha-mus. Honestly. I felt incredibly stupid in that moment. I’m simultaneously reading The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn and having way less trouble with all the Russian. I don’t know what that says about me, but there it is.
She’s loving it so far. I think I might let her watch the movie after we’re done reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or for my British/Canadian readers The Philosopher’s Stone). Not all of them, of course. We’ll watch as we read. I think that’s the way to go. She gets too emotionally invested and there are some dark things ahead. One book at a time.
I remember when these books came out. One of my friends, I’m not sure which book it was, convinced me to work the release party at Barnes & Noble. My future husband was there and he remembers me but I didn’t know him at the time. That’s so romantic that he remembers you, you might think. You would be wrong. He remembers me because I was dressed up as Professor Trelawney doing cold readings for 4 straight hours. There was a line out the damned door. A prelude to my side-hustle career of making shit up.
I can’t share experiences like that with Scarlett but we can make our own magic. I’m envisioning a trip to Universal Studios in our future.