Friday, May 9, 2014

Harry Potter

What is it about books that can calm a troubled heart? My five-year-old nephew moved in with us a few weeks ago. His parents are unable to care for him right now and so he is, with stubborn tenacity, settling into our family. I'm not going to lie, it's been rocky. And I know it's going to get harder before it gets easier. But I do have some help. I've been reading Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone to him; a chapter each night. At first he was confused, where were the pictures? But then he couldn't wait to find out what happened next. What does the letter say? When is Hagrid going to ride a motorcycle again? What is a sorting hat? And how do Owls deliver letters?

And suddenly the nights breathed easier around here because this little boy who'd been bounced around his whole life, had suddenly discovered a whole new world, that somehow grounded him. And while he hasn't seen the similarities of his situation to Harry's yet, he seems to find solidarity in Harry's drive to fit in. And I know it's still hard to bring a troubled child into my life, but there's something very calming about re-drawing a lightning scar on his forehead every morning with a washable marker, so he can get off to school Harry Potter style.

And while Harry Potter is about wizards and magic and dragons and secret schools, it's also about being human. About fitting in, growing, discovering. So I'll keep reading and crossing my fingers and breathing in and out each day.

And I guess the writing can wait. Right? Cause, right now, Harry Potter seems more important.


  1. Emily, this is gorgeous. Every child needs a little bit of Harry in their life.

  2. WOW. This is amazing, Emily ... both what you're doing, how he's learning, and what is happening because of a story. Stories are so important in our lives. They should never be underestimated.

  3. Emily, I cried reading your post, even after knowing about the Harry Potter magic previously. You are a wonderful aunt…and how beautiful for your nephew to have you and Harry Potter to help him with fitting in, growing, and discovering.

  4. So incredible. You. Taking him in. Him. Finding a home with you. Relating to Harry, whether he sees yet how profoundly. I have chills reading this!