Friday, February 6, 2015

An afternoon’s magical surprise

You know you’re leaving your kids’ babyhood behind when you record milestones that no longer has anything to do with how they’re growing as human beings, but rather who they’re becoming as a person. And I think we tend to celebrate, especially, when they choose to do the things we enjoy as well.

Like Harry Potter, for instance. Little Miss finished reading the third book, “The Prisoner of Azkaban”, which was one of my favorites, and absolutely loved it. We then both decided that it’s a good time for a break in the series. As the characters get older, the story gets darker and more complex, and I feel the concepts would be a little tricky for a six-year-old to decipher. Surprisingly, she suggested she should wait a year before picking the next one up to read, and I agreed (although I think it’s really the 700+ pages that’s daunting her). In the meantime, however, I had a surprise in store for her.

This past Wednesday was her school’s Early Release day, where classes ended at 12:45PM. Since it’s rare that her little sister, who’s at preschool, isn’t home for long stretches of time like that afternoon, I decided it’s the perfect opportunity to screen the first Harry Potter movie at home. It would be our mommy and big girl date, which delighted her to no end. From the moment the movie started, she was enchanted (pun intended).

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The milestone? It was her first experience of a screen adaptation of a novel she’s read. I know, whoop de doo, but hey, it’s pretty big for our family of readers and movie watchers; don’t judge. So there I was, watching my little girl completely immersed in the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and I was having that moment. You know, the moment when parents realize their kids are mini versions of themselves, seeing the world through same-different eyes, and we get to experience something we love all over again in a whole new way? Yes, that. 

I could tell she was thrilled to be familiar with every scene, every character even before they were revealed to the audience. She also noticed and mentioned when the screen version was different: “They skipped some parts.” But she understood why. She squealed at the exciting Quidditch match, shut her eyes and ears when (SPOILER ALERT!) Harry, Hermione, and Ron confronted Fluffy, and clapped when Gryffindor won the House Cup. You could tell that she was loving every moment of having one of her favorite books come to life before her eyes. (Can’t blame her; I still feel that way when I see my favorite books on screen.)

As if the movie wasn’t a treat enough, I got us some shrimp chips to share too, because, well, that’s what happens in a half-Asian home.


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I know in my last post I seemed pretty down about my career (or rather, the lack thereof) and uncertain about my role in life. But then I get days like these, where I am free to volunteer at my daughter’s school during their Book Fair (and seeing me at her school always makes Little Miss happy) and then bring her home for an afternoon of just Harry, her, and me, and I remember why I chose to scale back in the first place.

That spot next to my big girl, nestled under a warm blanket in the middle of a cold Wednesday afternoon? It’s a damn fine place to be.

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