I have been a fan of Harry Potter for nearly 20 years. Just before I left for a semester abroad in London, my cousin Dru suggested I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I figured it was a kids' book, and kind of scoffed at the idea. But I read it anyway, and it didn't take me long to be hooked. I poured through the first four books, and could hardly wait for the fifth one to be published.
|Grace and her collection of Harry Potter books.|
And now, I've read all the books and seen all the movies. The first movie came out in theaters when I lived in London, and I loved seeing it there with my friends. We even had a chance to meet THE Professor Snape when we met Alan Rickman at the stage door following an old Noel Coward play.
When Kyle and I first got together, he had never read any of the Harry Potter books and just really didn't have much interest in them. Since Kyle knew how much I loved them, he bought me all the movies for Christmas one year, and even sort-of begrudgingly agreed to watch them with me.
|Grace has always been all smiles reading Harry Potter. This is when we read the first book.|
Even though we had all the books, I was super excited the year they came out with the first book in an illustrated copy. It's always been kind of hard to find things to buy Grace for Christmas, and I couldn't wait to put that under the tree.
She was only four, but after the first of the year, she and I set out to embark on the adventures of Harry Potter together. Reading before bedtime was our ritual every night, and I knew she would love all the illustrations.
|It's been fun to read them together as a family.|
A few chapters in, Kyle happened to join us one night. It wasn't really planned, but he sort of discovered that he liked Harry Potter too. Starting that very night, he joined us every night as we read our way through the first Harry Potter book.
|Family fun reading Harry Potter.|
It was so much fun, that we decided we would just read through the whole series together as a family. And this January, three years later, we finished the last of the books together. With several of the books coming in at over 700 pages, that's a lot of quality family reading time. And we wouldn't trade it for anything!
I think what has always drawn me to the Harry Potter stories is the fabulous writing, and the recurring theme that bravery and courage can overcome fear. It was fun to read to Grace a story about kids that can do the impossible, knowing that she's doing the impossible each and every day in her fight against INAD.
|Finishing the last Harry Potter book in January.|
She will always be the strongest and bravest person I've ever known, and just like the characters in Harry Potter, she constantly helps others to find their strengths and overcome their fears.
While Grace may never get to embark on her own adventures to Hogwarts, I'll always be glad that we had a chance to read all the books together as a family. And I can't wait to read them again to Charlotte.