The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Harry Potter Forever

I'm trying to remember just when it was that I was introduced to the Harry Potter saga.  I think it must have been when I was working at Primary Children's Medical Center. I specifically remember one Halloween, seeing multiple kids dressed in a cloak and mended spectacles with a curious lightening-shaped scar penciled in over one eye.  I had no idea what on earth they were dressed as.  Then I noticed that kids coming into the oncology clinic, where they'd have to sometimes spend the entire day, would bring with them one or another of the books, their parent reading aloud to them to pass the time.  Finally I decided to pick one up for myself.  My reaction to the very first page was that Ms. Rowling was trying to be another Roald Dahl, whom I adore by the way, giving everyone silly uber-British names.  I wasn't impressed for the first bit.  But apparently over those pages the hook was firmly set and suddenly I was racing along and gobbling up the books as quickly as I could get my hands on them.  The books had been released only up until the fourth, and after devouring them I started again, this time listening to them on tape as I drove to and from Logan twice a week as I had started going to school up there. Consequently I pretty much have the first four books memorized.  And with each release of another volume I've waited with great anticipation and delight, my heart breaking slightly as I finished the last chapter of the last book.

I was able to drag my husband along with me in this journey, although he was initially resistant to the idea of reading children's books.  It took him a couple of tries at the first book before the bug bit him as well.  I begged and begged him to read them, and then once he finally agreed I didn't see him again for a month until he had surfaced from Book 5 which had recently been published.  It was very validating.  I love having a co-fan in the house.

When my sweet son Stomper was born I knew that one day I would read those books to him.  I have such fond memories of my  mom reading books to me, in particular a Roald Dahl book by the name of Danny the Champion of the World.  I always knew I'd read to my kids and looked forward to the day my eldest would be ready to take on Harry Potter.  I think we started book one towards the end of 1st grade, maybe during the summer between first and second. It was every bit as fun as I thought it would be.  We listened to much of book 2 in the car on the way to and from St. George.  And then Troy started doing the reading at about book 3.  It has become a wonderful habit of theirs.  Bitty sometimes sticks around too - she definitely has the gist of the stories if not every detail.  We have decided not to let the kids watch any of the movies until the coresponding book has been read.  That's become a fun tradition as well - sometimes even the same day a book is finished we'll pop in the DVD (and pop some popcorn while we're at it) and watch the show, comparing and constrasting it to the book.  (Book always wins, in case you were wondering.) There is so much Harry Potter at our house that he's pretty much become an omnipresence - Troy tells me that due to the fact that he gets at least 30 minutes of HP time several days a week he has a hard time not thinking about life in HP terms these days.  I am a little jealous that Troy does the reading, but seeing how much he loves doing it is worth it, not to mention the fact that each night as he reads I get a few minutes to get the last of the day's dishes done or something like that.  Not gonna complain.

And guess what.  They're about half way through Book 7.  I can hardly believe they've come so far.  I'm going to be so sad when they're done, even though I know there are fantastic adventures to head to next; I'm thinking The Hobbit.  Peter and the Starcatchers is another saga I think he'll just love. But still, it's bitter sweet every time you reach the end of the series.  Luckily I forsee a re-reading of the books when Bitty gets a little older.  And Bundle too.  I hope they'll let me.

3 comments:

tiffrsmith said...

I love this. My Dylan is obsessed with HP already. We've read a few chapters together here and there, listen together while making dinner a few times a week, and he's seen a couple of the movies (the less scary ones). I am eagerly awaiting the day he can sit through more than five minutes of reading aloud, and then eventually read them himself. Harry Potter is king at our house.

Cullen said...

I had a very similar experience starting the HP series. Book Four had just come out . . . and a few pages into book one had me hooked.

Myca and I read them out loud together . . . and anxiously awaited the release of each subsequent book. I remember each time we'd start the next installment, I'd have this pit of fear in my stomach that J. K. Rowling would have lost her touch, and the new book wouldn't be as good as the prior ones. Of course, after a few pages, I'd see that the magic was still there. (whew!)

I'll have to check out "Peter and the Starcatchers".

jefferies said...

I {BIG FAT HEART} Harry Potter and this post. :-)