Hi there! I know, I know. On the one hand, I lament the lack of livejournal, the lack of depth in facebook interactions; on the other, I contribute by not posting!
So here it is, a posting, and not even a melancholy one. I have questions! Or dilemmas, anyway. Do you have answers?
First, I have to explain that I have this long standing dilemma when it comes to introducing my children to my beloved Harry Potter. It's a tricky series, in my mind, because the books evolve with Harry. When you compare Sorcerer's Stone to the tragedy and philosophical depth of Deathly Hallows, it's hard to imagine these are books for the same audience. But how can you introduce the first one, and stop someone from reading the rest? I swore to adopt J.K. Rowling's plan of not letting her own daughter read the books until she was 10, even though ten still seems young to me for the later books. But perhaps this is just - as Dumbledore would put it - the mistake of age?
Well, that's my dilemma. I knew better, but here it is: The Boy's reading group at the library is doing a Harry Potter Christmas Party, with trivia contests. Husband Charming and I talked it over, and with input from the librarian and my sister Valancy decided to let him read the first one. After all, he's 9 and a half. Will he really be that much more mature on his birthday? With much trepidation, I gave him the first book, making sure he knew he would have to wait for the second.
Of course, the most predictable thing in the world happened. He's ensorceled by Harry. It's his favorite book ever, and he is desperate to read the second one.
In an attempt to change my mind, he even told me that his best friend is reading Chamber of Secrets and begged to read it too, so that they could discuss it on the bus.
Like he could have said anything that would melt my heart more? Not that I've given in, but good grief.
Anyway, I'm curious what you guys think. I feel like I'm being much pickier than most people would be; my brother, the neo-con, let his son (who is five weeks older than The Boy) read them more than a year ago. In fact, I just finished running an after school quidditch program for third through fifth graders (8-10 year olds) and I know many of the third graders have read the books. I can't even decide, actually, if I'm afraid that the deaths in the later books will be devastating to The Boy, or that they won't have the emotional impact I think they should because he's too young. I don't want him to just gobble them up; I want him to savor them, even to be consumed by them instead of the other way around.
Gah, I am the weirdest mom ever.
Perhaps I should just trust the books to do what they do? Maybe they'll be formative; I'd love that. And if nothing else, he's a re-reader just like his mom, so this wouldn't be his only visit with Harry. Husband Charming has suggested we let him read a book a month (Sorcerer's Stone took him about a day and a half) starting in January. Or we can just wait until his birthday. Or we can cave and let him read the next two now (which I don't see happening). It's funny; I bought him a bunch of books for Christmas that I'm excited for him to have, so even if it's not what he wants, perhaps he'll be distracted. One great thing; Chamber of Secrets currently sits in our living room on the shelf, and it hasn't occurred to him to just go grab it.
And here's my other dilemma. My aunt and two of my cousins are coming out to join us for Christmas, which is wonderful and exciting. I don't know if I've mentioned this - it's probably come up sometime in the past 7 years - but my much younger cousin is adopted, the unexpected product of my aunt's work with a school in Africa. I'm looking for adventure books for her, and here's the question; so many of those books are about orphans, about the search for identity, about dead parents or parents who adandoned their children, about siblings desperate to stay together.
So, weird question, but can you buy that sort of book for an actual orphan - or rather, a girl who was abandoned by her still living parents? Whose brother was adopted away from her (thought still in our family)?
I think in the past I would have apologized for being overly verbose, but it's been so long since I posted, I think I won't. :)
*No sooner did I post this, but I got a call from my father in law asking if he could buy The Boy his own copy of the Harry Potter series for Christmas. ARGH!