Thursday, March 20, 2008

Four Thousand One Hundred

That’s how many pages I’ve just read to Haven in less than four months. That’s Harry Potter, books 1-7. Originally, I was thinking I’d read a chapter a day after we finished school. That lasted one day. Every time I’d end a chapter, I would receive an urgent request to continue reading. That quickly turned into a routine of reading 3-7 chapters a day. I even found myself being ambushed with the book when I walked out of my bedroom first thing in the morning. Haven would be sitting on the couch with the book and blanket (we cuddle under when reading), waiting for me to come out of my room in the morning. How could I say no to that??? So I would give in to the pleading and the puppy dog eyes, and would end up reading a couple of chapters to him in the morning. As soon as school time was over, Haven would get the book again and insist I read until dinner time. Some days I would have a sore throat or almost lose my voice from reading so much.

I always looked forward to when I felt Haven was old enough to share these books with him. I originally figured I’d start when he was 11, the same age as Harry in the first book. The decision to start three years earlier was really out of desperation. You see, Haven’s best friend started reading the books. This is the best friend who happily announces what he got Haven (for whatever holiday) before Haven has unwrapped his present. His friend that is secret-keeping-challenged and likes to spoil surprises. And after this friend started reading Harry Potter, he started talking about Harry Potter during play dates with Haven.
I could see where this was going. It was only a matter of time before this friend started spilling the major deaths, revelations and endings of each book and ruining Haven’s Harry Potter experience forever. Am I being a bit dramatic? I think not. Me? One of those slightly inappropriately obsessed Harry Potter fans... letting some kid ruin the Harry Potter experience for my son? Not. Gonna. Happen. And so it was, against my better judgement, that I decided to go ahead and read the HP series to Haven. And it turns out, Haven was totally ready for it. He absorbed the story and has enjoyed it thoroughly. And with our reading marathon, we caught up and surpassed Haven’s best friend so that I no longer had to worry.
From the very beginning Marshall and I would tell Haven almost every day, “Oh THAT is the chapter where Harry dies...” and wait for Haven to roll his eyes. He would quickly say in a bored voice, “I can see the picture of Harry on the next book, so I know he doesn’t die in this book.” So hard to pull one over on him.

So here we are at the end of the series. Haven is as big a Harry Potter fan as Marshall and I are. It is fun to have opened up this world to him. Nice to finally have someone to pretend to duel with. Uh, I mean, it’s lucky for him I’m willing to stoop down to his level of imaginative play. Yeah, that’s right.

And in a few years, I can’t wait to go through it all again with Seamus and Marlie.

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