Chapter one: The Boy Who Lived…

In the late 90’s, I was nearing the end of my secondary education.  I had precisely 3 interests: Boys, dance, and a social life…with boys.  Reading was definitely not on my to-do list.  So it wasn’t even on my radar that suddenly every person of every age in every country became enamored with a book called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

I don’t recall even being aware that this was a book until 2001 during my first year of college.  This was the year that this first book in the series became a movie.  A good [21 year old] friend of mine, Traci, was obsessed with this series.  We were in the dance company together, and at the end of the year we had an assignment called musical mapping.  The assignment required us to choose a song, “map” the dynamics of the song out using the medium of our choosing (pipe cleaner, macaroni noodles, string, etc…you know, college student stuff), and choreograph a dance to go along with our 3-dimensional music map.  We then presented the entire project to our class.  Traci chose the Harry Potter movie’s theme song, which at the time was unrecognizable.  She incorporated a magic wand into her choreography with which she led us through her map.  If that wasn’t enough to get me to read this book, I don’t know what is.

Over the years I received a lot of criticism for having never read this series.  About 7 years ago, I rode along with Aaron when he went to dig a grave (yes, this actually happened).  I had some time to kill while I sat in the car, and the Sorcerer’s Stone happened to be sitting on the bench seat next to me.  Aaron really loved the series and has read/listened to each book at least twice.  I picked it up, thrilled that I was finally about to jump on the HP band wagon.  I got to about the part where (spoiler alert, if you haven’t read it) Harry makes the glass disappear at the zoo and releases the snake.  That was where the wagon stopped for me.

Since that time I’ve been the epitome of a crazed YA fantasy fiction fan over all the big-time supernatural, dystopian, sci-fi, love-triangle type books and their movie adaptations (you should see my “I’d rather be in Forks” t-shirt).  All except Harry Potter.

Last fall, Jade started kindergarten.  I’ve been reading to Jade almost every night since she could sit up on her own, so it didn’t come as a surprise to me that she picked up the ability to read very quickly.  In October at her last birthday, she was given her first set of chapter books about fairies.  We devoured them and went back for more when the school book fair came along.  Suddenly books didn’t need pictures to be interesting.  This was my cue.

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“Jade how about we read Harry Potter together?  I’ve never read it before.”  I fully expected her answer to be, “You haven’t read Harry Potter???  Even I’ve read Harry Potter mom!”  But instead she answered yes, and our journey began.

Last night, we finished the first book.  I almost cried!  Literally.  And for more reasons than one.  I just finished a very long book with my first child and she sat still and listened and comprehended just about every word!  But I was also sad to close the book after that last page.  What incredible writing, and what a fun story!  We do own all 8 movies, but to be honest I don’t think I’ve sat through most of them and the ones I did I either fell asleep or didn’t have a clue what was happening.

But the best part about the whole thing is that I’m experiencing these books for the first time with my daughter.  How many parents of my generation get to say that?  I kept thinking what if I’d given in and read the series a long time ago?  I get to do this 6 more times!

Do you have any movies or books you wish you could experience again for the first time?  And its sad because you never will be able to!  You’ll keep re-watching Titanic hoping it will be as good as that first time, but it never will be.  Okay maybe that’s just me.

Chamber of Secrets here we come!

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May Milestones Continued

Kindergarten Graduation

Of all the weeks to be sick.  Jade has a little bit of a cold as you may be able to see in these pictures.  But that didn’t stop her.

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Student of the Month

Jade’s teacher says she has worked really hard this year on being a good friend to others and that she has progressed a lot since the beginning of the year.  I’m so proud of my little almost-first-grader!

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We’re Off To See the Wizard!

My sweet little girl has been chosen to be in our local high school’s production of “The Wizard of Oz”!  A prouder mother there has not been.  Was Halloween a manifestation of things to come?

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This is the first time in the 7 years that I’ve lived in this town that the high school has included young kids in a production.

Last week we got a flier home from school “calling 15-20 elementary school-aged kids K-5”.  As soon as I asked her if she wanted to audition she shrieked “yeeesss!”  Did she know what an audition was?  No, but come on, its the Wizard of Oz.  Not to mention she wants to do everything that could possibly be available to her (Pleeeease mom can I do soccer?…Mom I want to do piano SOOO bad!…I think skiing sounds fun).

I explained to her that she’d have to prepare a song to sing and without hesitation she said “I want to sing Do Re Mi”.  So we got grandpa on the phone and asked him what the chances were of him providing us with some piano accompaniment (my daughter comes by her talents honestly).  The chances were good, because just a couple hours later I got an email with not one but TWO different speeds of our song 🙂

She spent the next couple days practicing and practicing, but when I asked her to practice in front of dad she sheepishly declined.  And same with Grandma.  It looked like she was chickening out, but I asked her to keep practicing anyway just in case she changed her mind.

Audition day came, and she was still hesitant.  It wasn’t until 5:30pm (before the 6:30 audition time) that she decided she wanted to do it.  So we showed up and I was surprised at the number of kids that were willing to sing a solo in front of people!  Most of them were older than her, but I thought most of these kids must have been forced to come by their moms.

That wasn’t the case.  Most of the parents weren’t even aware that their children needed to come with a song prepared.  I wonder how many of the kids even knew they’d be asked to sing.  But regardless, my daughter is only 6 and she was going up against close to 50 kids up to age 11.

While the kids were on stage learning their audition dance number, the parents were filling out “bios” about our kids.  I debated whether to include my own and my parents’ credentials in HER “experience” because I thought maybe it would tip the scales in her favor.

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We all spent most of the time out in the lobby watching the kids practice “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” over and over (and over) and waiting to be called into the auditorium.  When it was our…hmm…her turn, we entered the auditorium doors and as I walked briskly to the front my daughter tripped and fell in the aisle.  I don’t think I realized what a stage mother I am until this point, when I worried more that this would hurt “our” chances than hurt her ankle or something (she was fine by the way).

We got to the front of the auditorium and the 2 directors (one male and one female) and 1 student director motioned for her to take the stage.  She hesitated, and the male director told her she could stand on the steps instead if she’d like.

As soon as I turned on her music, any sign of nerves disappeared and she shone like a bright little 6-year-old star!  I was so proud.  And I was even more proud (almost to the point of tears) when Mr. director said at the end of her song “You have absolutely nothing to be nervous about, you have a BEAUTIFUL voice.”

When I didn’t hear anything 24 hours later, I assumed that they had made their decision and it didn’t include my daughter.  But last night, while I was awake taking care of my suddenly sick with the flu daughter and 1 year old teething infant, I checked my email.

“Welcome to Oz!” the subject said.  “We would like to extend an invitation to your daughter to join us as a Munchkin in this performance.”

I just cannot wait to sit in that audience and snap pictures of my little munchkin.  And the best part is, they didn’t even need to know about my parents’ Broadway career 🙂

She’s in the pink cardigan.