When Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (or Philosopher's Stone, depending on your geography) came out - on video - we watched it with the girls. Before that they had shown no interest in the franchise. After that dementors couldn't keep us away. We acquired all of the books that had been released at that time, but since they were above the girls reading level, Tom read them aloud to us chapter by chapter.
Did he do voices and accents?
What do you think?
I sat on the loveseat, knitting. Lea curled up with Tom on the couch, watching the process of reading the words she couldn't quite make out independently yet. Liv either sat at the other end of the couch or laid on her belly on the floor.
We were all utterly enchanted. Under a spell, you might even say, if you were the sort of person prone to saying things like that.
He would finish the chapter and say, "Tomorrow's chapter is titled _____". Then he would raise his eyebrows and close the book with a great flourish amid pleas from the three of us for just one more chapter pleeeeeeeease! If the next chapter was on the shorter side, or if the evening was on the earlier side, sometimes we managed to get him to acquiesce. Usually, though, one chapter was it. We were left longing for the next installment the way I imagine kids in the early days of movies longed for the next installment of their weekly cliff-hangers.
When Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was released in the theater, we went to a matinee on opening weekend.
When Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was released in the book stores, we thought the girls were old enough to stay up for a midnight release. We got to the bookstore around ten. There were elaborate costumes and lots of games and activities. My mom had recently made both of them cloaks that were really lovely. They were having a lot of fun until they weren't. By the time they weren't, however, it was very close to midnight and Tom and I decided we'd made it this far, we weren't going home now. As soon as they started queuing people up Tom got in line and I took the girls to the car, where they promptly fell asleep, clutching their wands.
By the time Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, the girls were old enough to read on their own. They no longer wanted it parceled out chapter by chapter, so several copies were purchased. I was a little bit sad, because I'd really enjoyed having the stories read to me.
I had a student teacher once who told me I'd intimidated her. She said that in every other placement she'd ever had, when she read a story to the children, the classroom teacher had used that as an opportunity to catch up on their work. I sat down, chin in hands, and listened to the story. She said she felt like I was judging her. When I quickly explained that I just really really enjoyed being read to and that she was an excellent storyteller/reader she relaxed considerably.
I tentatively asked Tom if he would continue reading it aloud. "The girls don't want that anymore" he protested.
"This girl does."
So he did.
Sure do wish I could be there for the midnight opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter themed park at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure next year. (Because SURELY there will be a midnight opening!!!) But we'll be there before it's a year old, I imagine.
The girls have grown a lot since 2005.
I guess we'll be needing new cloaks.