Warning: this blog may contain spoilers if you haven't finished the Harry Potter series and/or have been hiding under a rock away from J.K. Rowling's influence.
In the days after my daughter's birth in June 2002 I delved back in the Harry Potter series to - well, basically, I'll admit it - to escape the screaming. She was the colic baby from hell but stunningly beautiful while sleeping, which it seemed she would only do while we were out, so there we would be, bleary at some brunch establishment early Sunday morning, and she'd be all angelic sleeping in her car seat as if she hadn't kept us up all night and invariably someone would look at her angelic sleepiness and say "isn't this the best time of your life?" and we'd stare at them and say, emphatically, in unison, "No." I'm still surprised Child Protective Services was never called.
Don't get me wrong - I love my daughter and I think whatever deity came up with the Pavlovian function of our hearts melting at the sight of babies' cuteness was a genius, because we'd joke day after day that if she wasn't so cute we would have tossed her out the window but there were some days when the joke didn't ring so joke-y. At all.
So rereading Harry Potter 1-4 was a lovely escape into the familiar and the fantastical, and my husband, who had seen the first movie because I dragged him to it but at that point had adamantly refused to read the books, laughed at me when one night amidst the incessant screaming and crying (hers, and perhaps after some time, ours) I told him how I couldn't wait to read the books to Julia. Perhaps it was just that in the middle of the trying to calm the screaming six week old (oh and by the way, the colic lasted a good year - overachieving even then!) he couldn't envision that that day would ever come (let's hope it was a lack of future vision and not a real plan to defenestrate the kid). But it did.
I didn't re-read any of the older books again (couldn't resist the new ones) in preparation for sharing them with Julia. And we started at the end of last winter - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - thinking that would be a sweet introduction but we'd hold out for the others later.
Who knew Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone would be a gateway drug?
We read it out loud - cover to cover - three times in a row. She conned a babysitter into reading about 150 pages of it in a night (an actress who did voices!) She listened to the book on CD at least twice more. She taught the other kids at pre-school to play Quidditch.
We moved on to book 2. I don't remember how many times we've read through that. We're on the second round of book 3. I've tried to take it slow but all the kid wants for Hannukah is for me to start reading her book 4. She's in Kindergarten. And she's a Harry Potter addict. She's going to marry the guy. Watch out Ginny.
So it's my fault, I freely admit. And that's what this blog is about - Julia & Harry...and me.