A list of Items that probably won’t show up on my children’s school supply list this year:
- Floo powder
- Pumpkin juice
- Dress robes
- Nimbus 2000
- Vanishing cabinet
- Marauder’s Map
- Invisibility cloak
- Potions, potions, potions
Can you tell I just finished reading the Harry Potter series?
I’ll admit, I was skeptical. The wild popularity of the books and films was what did it. I’m not quite sure how to say this delicately, but I usually look at pop culture phenomena (Harry Potter, Riverdance, American Idol, Oprah Winfrey, Georgia O’Keefe posters, Il Divo) as appealing to (a) the lowest common denominator, (b) the pseudo-intellectual in us all, or (b) our inability to look away from a train wreck. Let me be clear now: after Harry Potter I’m almost willing to give American Idol a shake.
Almost, but not quite. Back to Potter, shall we?
I am enchanted with Harry, Hogwarts, Hallows, and Horcruxes. I love to hate Snape, Draco, and Voldem— (but I’ll keep quiet about him). I wish that Professor Lupin was my college advisor, though he does bear a strong resemblance to Dr. Keith Schray, my actual freshman advisor. And while I will not incorporate them into my everyday life, nor do I support those who do, I think that the potions and spells are downright cool.
Yes, I may be 12 years late to the Potter party, but you can’t beat the fun of reading all 7 books in unbroken sequence over the course of 2 months. It’s another example of something fun kept in reserve until a time when it becomes lots more fun.
I think what I like most about the books is the galloping creativity of their author, JK Rowling. The cupboard under the stairs, for example—who hasn’t felt that unloved by the world? The sorting hat—thank heaven for a tool that distributes us into pre-made cliques so we don’t have to go through the trouble of doing it ourselves. The always being in the wrong place at the wrong time and getting in trouble while the real bad kid gets away with it—been there, done that, and haven’t we all?
The experience of reading the books has also given me a connection with my children that I wouldn’t trade for anything. While I may never master (in any way, shape, or form) the intricacies of Pokemon, at least I’ve got the Harry Potter narrative to share with them. It’s an opportunity that I’m glad not to have missed.