Way back in 1997 when I first heard of this new book called Harry Potter, I decided I would wait to read them for the first time with my own child. Through 14 years of students begging, movies being made, and tremendous personal torment I have managed to remain entirely uninformed about everything Potter. Tonight I begin them with my son.
I feel I must explain. A great many people are passionate about literature; I am one of "those" people. I reread books till they fall apart, much to the amusement of my husband. I once reread Atlas Shrugged continuously for 18 months (which is about eleven cover to cover reads). Indeed both of my sons are named for my favorite characters of important books in my life. However, my deepest literary passion lies with children's literature. I'm pretty sure it all comes of discovering The Phantom Tollbooth at an impressionable age (if Dave would have let me, I'd have named both kids Milo). Watching kids discover a book that really captivated them was, by fat, the greatest part of teaching. The magic of children's books lies in the way in which a new mind embraces the dreams of another mind; this intellectual embrace is what writers achieve more powerfully than the rest of us.
Which is why I refused to have anything to do with Harry Potter for the past 14 years. I have read and reread every great children's book; I knew, after reading the first page, that Harry Potter was going to be one of the greats, possibly the greatest written in my lifetime.
There is something about discovering a new book. The freshness, the delight of how crisp the words are in your mind that made me NEED to wait and share that special imaginative rapture with her or him.
When Jake was born (after the initial shock of having a son wore off) I remember looking at him with his balled up little fists and telling him "I'm glad your here. We have a lot reading to do."
My apologies to Atticus and any future children. I'm second born so I get that you get a raw deal on a great many things; this, alas, will be no different.
I am beyond excited. Tonight is the night. After a hot bath and snuggled into soft clean jammies, my son and I are going to embark into the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts. I will blog our own path into this world. I know this will have been worth the wait.
And so, we begin.