So I’ve posted on Twitter about reading Harry Potter to Ara but I don’t think I’ve talked about it here. Alex and I are reading the first book with her every night and it’s been interesting. At first I would just read a chapter and then kiss her good night but when I started asking her questions I realized she was missing a lot of the important plot points. Not on purpose of course, when we read the story she sits so still and is clearly hanging on every word. But, some of the story is going over her head. So now I do a shorter section of book and we have a recap/discussion time. Which I am really loving. Today, for example we talked about the Mirror of Erised that she read with her Dad last night. She remembered that Harry had seen dead people and Ron had seen a ‘Head Boy”. So we discussed why Harry would want to see his family more than anything in the world and why Ron needed to feel special. She really seemed to get it so I asked her what she would see if she looked into the mirror. She would see her favorite stuffed cat “Wila” come to life. I love that answer. It’s so child-like and so honest. In my thoughts I wondered if what I would see would be me, reading this story aloud with my daughter tucked under my arm. Because in this moment, right now, that’s what I desire most in the world. To share this story, these characters, this experience with Ara is truly a dream come true for me.
I realize that may sound hokey to some people. It’s just a kid’s story about wizards after all. But, to some people this story is about so much more than that. So much more than anyone can possible understand from just seeing the movie. This is a story about the power of love and especially the powerful love of a Mother. It’s also a story that shows my daughter several strong female characters that do not compromise themselves to please others. Ara can read about the adventures of plain girls that are smart and clever and brave. There are no princesses here. Ravishing beauty and skinny thighs do not win the battles. I like that message, sorry Cinderella, you can’t eat my daughter!
Oh, and one more really serious reason I like sharing Harry Potter with Ara is that we can now make jokes like this one today;
Ara: “Kuku is a wizard cat and he’s hairy” Me (in Haggrid’s voice): “You’re a wizard, hairy”
We are some funny girls, are we not? We’ll be calling our cat “Hairy” for a while. It’s funny because it’s true!
The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens. I didn’t think I would like this book but Alex read several of the chapters to me and I was hooked. The author, Eric Greitens is humble about it but he is an amazing person and writer. His experience’s in the Navy Seals and his humanitarian missions are fascinating and moving.
The Maze Runner, I chose based on a library blog review. I’ll let you know how it is.
The Job-Hunter’s Survival Guide and Back on the Career Track are because I’m looking for a job. Ideally for the hours that Ara will be in school.. so if anyone out there wants to hire me, that would be great, thanks.
Dewey, I found in the cat health books when I was looking up reasons for my Kuku’s neurotic behavior. It looks adorable.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle audiobook! That’s in addition to another haul of dino books and I tossed it into the book bag without consulting her. She likes it though
How to Carve Freakishly Cool Pumpkins. Yeah, that’s right Charles, I’m coming for your throne this year! Yesterday, out of the blue, Ara said to me, “Mom, you remember when Charles came over and we did pumpkins?” She wants to carve this year, so I’m afraid our judge may not be as neutral.
This is what I’m reading this week. I’m interested in the process of writing, illustrating, and publishing a children’s book! Exciting! The funny thing is that the book in the center, the one that looks like a kids book, was the most useful to me. It’s pretty clear that I have a simple mind and I do better with pictures than a lot of words! I’m also looking into Maria Montessori and her methods to better understand the education Ara is getting. Especially after reading “What Teachers Really Want to Tell Parents” on CNN. I read the article after I checked out these books but it all seems to tie together.
This is what Ara is reading this week. Can you see her theme? That girl loves her some dinosaurs. The Bernstein Bears audio book is on her iPod sleeping playlist now. She also checked out a Bambi DVD but I haven’t decided if I think she should watch it yet. I remember being traumatized by that movie as a kid.
I’m also just finished listening to the first Harry Potter and now I’m on the Chamber of Secrets. I freaking love audio books for when I need to be doing something with my hands (dishes) or I’m so tired my eyes won’t stay open to read. I’ll probably finish the HP series and then start on a book my MIL lent me called 90 Minutes in Heaven (or close to that, the bookshelf is waaay over there).
How amazing does this movie look? I am so excited! I remember seeing the first trailer before Twilight and as excited as I was to see that movie it was nothing compared to how much I am anticipating Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!