Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fears of the Father: Harry Potter

My children began complaining about having nothing to read in early summer 2010. Please try to understand how painful this is. Mackenzie and Chase had just finished 9 months of Omnibus. They had read thousands of pages for school and suddenly had nothing to read. They have read everything in the house, and had been to the library repeatedly. Kayleigh had read her entire fifth grade reading list by February and had spent the last four months writing her own 45-page story about a princess kidnapped by a neighboring kingdom and rescued by the blacksmith’s son. “Dad, I am so sad. We don’t have anything to read,” was the continual refrain.

Now, granted, this statement wasn’t entirely true. I often pointed out Dostoevsky, Dumas, and Dickens to name a few. No takers. They wanted something fun to read. Hah.

If you were a father, looking at two more months of summer, what would you have done? Probably not what I did. Yes, I did it. I told them to read Harry Potter. It was, after all, a big fat juicy fantastical story. It was seven books with 4,100 (exactly) pages. It could keep them busy for at least a week! Not only this, but men who I trusted biblically, spiritually, and theologically really enjoyed these books. So, given these considerations, I did it, I told the kids to read the Potter series.

To my amazement, the kids had imbibed my fear and contempt toward the Potter books. At first they said no; they were not going to read it. However, Chase, being the brave one, started in on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sometime in July. Mackenzie couldn’t hold out and started reading book one after Chase was in book two. Kenz is a faster reader, so she was on Chase’s tail in no time. I did not allow her to start a book until he finished, to which great complaining arose. Finally, in book four somewhere around Task Two, Chase couldn’t handle the pressure anymore and let her pass him. She finished book seven before he finished book five. Kayleigh finished the series shortly after Chase and then Wendy and I started.

When we learned that the seventh movie would be out in November, they all begged me to get the series read so that we could go to the movie together. They did not believe they could go without me, so they pushed hard. I finished book one on August 30 and book seven on November 7. I started book seven on November 5. Yes, I went into a hole on Friday and didn’t come out until I was done. It was wondrous.

The Abell Six are now Harry Potter fans.

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