Saturday, July 21, 2007
Do you know where your children are?
My daughter was home this morning, a summer Saturday.
"Aren't you going to the Cape?" I asked. She and her boyfriend spend weekends with his parents at their Cape Cod cottage. Usually she leaves after work on Friday, but not always.
"I'm waiting for my Harry Potter book," she said.
I should have known. Joanna's been an avid reader of the series since its inauguration ten years ago when she was 13.
She'd preordered a copy of the new Harry Potter book from Amazon.com. Today was delivery day.
She's a reader. The current book beside her bed is "Einstein" by Walter Isaacson. In between books like this, she's read the entire Potter series several times over.
Her brother David was eight at Harry's debut, a third grader far more interested in sports than any book he'd met so far. When he settled down with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I thought a new era had begun; he'd discovered "reading for pleasure."
Not quite, but he found pleasure in Harry Potter. "I wish she'd hurry up," he once said of J. K. Rowling. "I'll be grown up by the time the next book is written."
At 18, he's sitting on the couch beside his girlfriend as I write. They're both reading their copies of Harry and the Deathly Hallows.
David and Jen went to Walmart last night after midnight. They waited in a crowd, wearing color-coded bracelets, to be granted the right to purchase two copies. Dave and Jen started reading in the wee morning hours.
Bruce and I sat in the back yard at sunset, and our neighbor wandered over for a chat. I told her Dave and Jen were in the house with Harry Potter.
"Sure!" she said with a wink. "Harry Potter? I was 18 once." Wink, wink.
"No, really," I said. "They are really reading!"
To the proverbial question, "It's 11 p.m. Do you know where your children are?" I can say, "Yes! One's reading Harry Potter in the living room with his girlfriend. My other is on the Cape with Harry."