It is official. Six months, seven books, and two road trips later we have finished reading the Harry Potter series. We began reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as a family at the very beginning of our Route 1 road trip. Originally our intention was to read the younger Fives one Harry Potter book a year so that they would grow with the series. Of course as parents often are, we were completely naive in our thinking. Once Five of Hearts got a few chapters into the first book she would not let it go for anything and it soon became clear that we would have no choice but to read her the entire series straight through.
As the boys lost interest and Five String was often called away to play a game of ball I became the sole reader. Sitting around the campsite, at night in a tent, cabin or hotel room, and even on a few of our longer car rides Five of Hearts spurred me to keep on reading. It was such an amazing experience to watch her fall in love with a book series that I had so thoroughly enjoyed myself. Witnessing her develop her own favorite characters and truly appreciate what a wonderful story J.K. Rowling has presented to the world was such a joy. I couldn’t wait to read her the funny or heroic parts but I so dreaded being the bearer of bad news during the intense and sad parts of the books. However, as she always does Five of Hearts made her way through like a champion and always found a bright light to any of Harry’s unfortunate situations.
Although there were a few times when I would have preferred sleep to staying awake long into the night to reach the end of a book I am definitely sad that our journey has come to an end. There are few better things in life then cuddling up with your child and sharing one of the best stories ever written. Harry Potter is not only a fantastic foray into a magical world but it brings up an abundance of moral, spiritual, and ethical discussions that as a parent I welcome to have with my children. Conversations about discrimination, bullying, right and wrong, the afterlife and of course the power of love flowed easily as we discussed the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends and foes. Of course Five of Hearts and I will share many more books together (we have already started the Kane Chronicles) but as Five of Hearts said the other day “there will never be another Harry Potter”.