I hope you had a lovely weekend.
I spent most of my free time (okay, all of my free time) on Saturday and Sunday reading the newest and last Harry Potter book. I was like a child at Christmas when my UPS driver delivered it to my front door on Saturday afternoon. I won't say anything about it, for those of you who haven't read it yet. I will just say that I enjoyed it. A lot.
I'd like to say that all this Harry Potter business is behind me and I can now go back to my usual schedule. But I can't because Penn and I are going to see the latest HP movie at the IMAX theater this afternoon! My sister-in-law has kindly offered her babysitting services.
It kind of bugs me that Penn hasn't read any of the HP books. He's not a reader. I don't mean this in a disparaging way, but his family are TV people, not book people. But he did grow up earning his spending money as a paperboy, so he is an avid newspaper reader. If only someone would print my books in the newpaper, he would be set. It kind of hurts my heart a little to think of the things he hasn't read. I'm not talking about Faulkner or Joyce. I mean the classics that we groan about having to read in Junior/Senior High, but end up loving. Like
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or The Great Gatsby or Animal Farm. When Penn was in school he relied upon Cliff Notes or just did a little skimming. Something about reading the first and last page of every chapter. Of course, he has seen the movie versions of lots of good books. :)
It is really important to him that his kids read, however. He is almost as happy as I am that Nicknack's favorite pasttime is "reading" his books. One of the things I am most looking forward to as my child gets older is reading chapter books together. I've already collected dozens that I think he would especially enjoy. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The People of Pineapple Place. The Indian in the Cupboard. The Little House Series. What is neat is that as we read these aloud together Penn will get to experience them for the first time, too! Including Harry Potter, which we'll start when Nicknack turns eleven. Some of the later books are a little dark, scary, and sad. I don't want to start him on the lighter books when he's, say, eight and then tell him he has to wait a few years before he can continue the series.
I realize that a big part of what I love about being a parent is living vicariously through my little one. I just love sharing his new experiences with him. His accomplishments, little joys, and little hurts. As he learns new concepts or I realize he understands something I didn't expect. As he finds new ways to play with his toys. As he does something new and then turns to catch my eye and bask in the applause. As he becomes a more confident walker and toddles across the living room, clapping. Some day it will be bigger things like studying for and doing well on a difficult test, or making a soccer goal, or heading off to summer camp. Or college. (Gulp.)
It really is amazing to get a second childhood, isn't it?
Reading was such a big part of my childhood - it would be hard for me to overestimate the importance of books in my early life. Especially since I was an only child, I think. I fervently hope that my children will love reading and that it will bring them the same joy that it still brings me. Nicknack will probably be a bookworm because I'm a bookworm. I'm probably a bookworm because my mother was/is a bookworm. In fact, she would have finished her own copy of Harry by now, had she not had houseguests this weekend. Have you finished yet, mother? I can't wait to chat!
Happy reading, whatever you're reading this week.