My son is 4. He sits through long picture books and loves reading them over and over. We spend hours at the bookstore checking out new books (and toys, of course). I felt he was ready for longer reads, so I started perusing the 6-8 year old aisle – long, graphic books. We would read a few chapters and he loved them – but not enough to want to bring one home.
One ordinary afternoon, I found him perusing my bookshelf. He started to ask me about the different books on it…what they were about etc. The conversation in itself was cool.
Then, he found my Harry Potter books. He loved the cover since I own the children’s cover books. He heard me say “a boy who finds out he’s a wizard” and he was immediately sold.
“Mommy, will you read it to me?” he asked, his big brown eyes melting me as usual.
“Honey, I can,” as thrilled as I was, I still wasn’t sure if he was ready, “there aren’t ANY pictures in this book. You have to use your imagination when mommy is reading. Is that alright?”
“Yes, mommy I can do it. Read it mommy.”
Who can argue with that?
So, I did. We started slowly – there were way more characters than he was used to following. He interrupted frequently – trying to remember who was who and why Harry Potter didn’t just turn the Dursleys into frogs. Soon, reading sped up and we finished the book in under three weeks!
They were the most magical few weeks I spent with him. He eagerly awaited bedtime reading, and when he couldn’t wait he accosted me asking me to read Harry Potter because he had to find out who the bad guy was and if Voldemort (sorry – “You-Know-Who”) was coming back.
I loved re-reading Rowling’s work and living it through the eyes of my little boy. Sure, I glossed over the murder of a unicorn and subsequent drinking of its blood and I underplayed Professor Quirrel’s second face at the back of his head (Isn’t that funny sweetheart?) – but he sat through the whole novel, listened intently to descriptive passages and loved the idea of him possibly being a wizard too.
We are now reading The Chamber of Secrets and every so often run around our yard playing Harry Potter. I knew I would do this one day with my child, I just didn’t think it would happen so soon. I look forward to reading the series with him (though, I think I’ll leave the later books for when he’s older).
He shares a love of music with his father and I love that he can share a love of books with me. Every evening that we read and talk about our favourite parts I realize, that for me, those moments mean true happiness.
What parts of you do you love to share with your children?