Last Saturday I introduced Sean and Allie to Harry Potter. It was hard to avoid; after I had paced about the house and then pounced on the UPS delivery guy, some explanation was in order.
"So what is Harry Potter all about?" Sean asked after I told him why I was so excited about the package in my hand.
I sketched out the basic storyline, leaving out all sorts of crucial details.
"So Voldey More is a bad wizard?" he asked.
"Oh, yes, very bad."
"Is THIS Voldey More?" Allie asked, pointing to the back cover of the book. "Why does have green hands?"
"Umm, well. He kind of looks like a snake, don't you think?" I said.
I even showed them the bookshelf where all the Harry Potter books live. I think they were very impressed at the sheer shelf real estate devoted to them.
Throughout the day, the kids checked in on my progress.
"So what's going on with Harry Potter, Mom?" Sean asked at one point. "How does it end?"
"Well, Harry is still battling Voldemort, but I'm not finished the book yet."
Allie lifted the book from my lap impatiently. Her demeanor was that of a very smart person who is forced to deal with someone exceedingly dim-witted. "Look, I'll show you the end." She flipped, flipped, flipped through the pages, then turned the book over and pulled off the dust jacked. Pointing to Voldemort's face, she said, "THIS is what happens at the end of the book!"
(As it turns out, she wasn't far off!)
When I did finish the book, Sean again asked me what happened. I didn't tell him.
"I want to share this book with you when you're older, and if I tell you what happens now you won't be surprised. One of the best parts about reading these books is figuring out the mysteries as you go along. I never wanted someone to tell me what happened next."
Since then, we've seen Harry Potter everywhere we go. "There he is AGAIN!" Allie said at the book store, at the library, at the grocery store, and at the pharmacy.
I can't wait to read the books to them, but I wish that they could have experienced Potter mania in real time. I wonder if they will ever get a chance to experience a book phenomenon like this during their childhood. I kind of doubt it.