A few months ago, I made a big decision. Some would call it life changing. As a result, I have been met with ridicule by some, embraces by others. Scorned by those who don’t agree, celebrated by those who have been waiting a long time for me to join their ranks.
I have begun reading the Harry Potter series.
I am currently on book 4, and I must admit it is not my favorite so far. However, now that I have entered the world of wizards and magical creatures and owls, I have begun to notice certain things around me. For instance, today I found the 6-yr-old doing this:
At first glance this does not appear to be anything unusual. Perhaps she was simply watching in anticipation the bread we were baking or enjoying the aroma of homemade lasagna cooking in the oven.
There was NOTHING in the oven.
She was merely sitting on the ground in silence, a smile on her face and an intense gaze at the reflection she saw staring back at her in the oven door. Sound familiar, any Harry Potter fans?
This planted a few concerning thoughts in my mind.
Does my child see herself as Harry? Does she think of her life here with us as Harry did, living with his abusive and cruel aunt and uncle? Does she think of me like Petunia Dursely? Michael as Uncle Vernon? Is she staring into the oven door, dreaming about the parents she wishes she were with and of the life she could be having with them?
Then I began re-visiting our different interactions lately. She has been sent to her room a couple times recently. Harry spent enormous amounts of time locked in his room.
She has complained of being hungry at non-meal times and been made to wait. Harry went hungry for days at a time til he figured out how to hide food in his room. (Note to self: check her room for contraband items.)
The other day she pulled a hand-me-down pair of shorts out of her drawer and they were literally falling off of her. Harry suffered the indignity of wearing clothes that were ill-fitting, passed onto him by his obnoxious cousin, Dudley.
The time we went to the zoo this summer, she was immensely interested in the snakes. Harry speaks parseltongue, which for all you uninformed, means that he can speak the language of snakes.
I began to feel slightly uncomfortable.
Perhaps I need to be reading more books about loving my middle child instead of fiction about wizards who stare into mirrors and see their deepest desires. In Harry’s case, he saw his deceased parents, talking and laughing with him. In Lauren’s case, one can only imagine what she saw…