Harry Potter

  • A tea party of emotions

    A table is set for a fancy tea party, complete with snacks, tea, fine china and silverware, and flowers. The table is located next to a window looking out over the neighborhood.

    “Mommy!!!” the little boy shouted as he ran out of the school into the parent pickup area a few weeks ago. He had a big smile on his face as he hurried up to my side. Only one problem: This wasn’t my kid.

    “Right here, honey!” the woman behind me said to him, waving him over to her. In all fairness, both of us moms had the same brunette messy buns and big dark-framed eyeglasses. I chuckled, and smiled at the boy and mom. It was an easy mistake to make. So why did I feel like I was punched in the gut? And why were my eyes filling with tears?

    Then it hit me. I’ve never heard a child call me mommy.

    Okay, now I’m going to make a sharp turn now and change topics, but trust me, this segue will make sense in a bit.

    One of my favorite scenes in all of the Harry Potter series takes place in the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when Hermione tries to explain to Ron and Harry that their classmate must be feeling a variety of emotions – sad, confused, guilty, worried, pained, and afraid. Ron says “One person can’t feel all that at once.”

    Hermione, proving once again that she deserves someone much better than Ron (you know I’m right), snaps back, “Just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.”

    In this scene, Hermione illustrates how one seemingly big feeling – grief – can really be dozens of conflicting feelings bouncing around inside us at once.

    That’s the best way I can explain moments like the aforementioned school pickup. (See, I told you I’d come back to the original topic.) I was filled with anger, sadness, grief, resentment, frustration, and a million other things. I was experiencing a whole tea party of emotions, simply because a child mistook me for his mother!

    I’ve experienced countless “tea party of emotions” moments like this over the past few years. I don’t know if it’s because I’m the parent of a disabled child, or because I’m a parent, or because that’s just life. (I suspect it’s the last one, though.)

    I’ve just started reading Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie. I am loving it so far, and highly recommend it. In Entry #2, the authors write, “You are capable of a whole range of emotions that can coexist. Joy and sorrow. Grief and delight. Laughter and despair. Sometimes, the absurdity even keeps us afloat.”

    Hermione couldn’t say it any better herself.

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  • ‘The Boy Who Wiggled’

    Since the day JB was born, we’ve immersed him in the world of Harry Potter. We started reading him the first book in the hospital nursery; and since then have finished the first two books, Fantastic Beasts #1, and are currently working through Tales of Beedle the Bard.

    In October, JB got his first pair of glasses. With the round frames, his bright eyes, and his father’s 20-year history of being told he looked like the famous wizard, it was inevitable that JB start being told he looked like Harry Potter, as well.

    Apparently that wasn’t enough, though, so last week, JB decided to go for the lightning bolt scar on his forehead, as well.

    He was dancing and wiggling around on his changing table while I was getting him ready for bed. And he wiggled right off the changing pad and onto the rug below, cutting his head on the way down.

    As the emergency room staff was giving him stitches (sure enough – in a lightning bolt pattern on his forehead), it took all my strength not to shout something like “Be careful – I made him! He’s fragile!”

    But he’s not. He’s resilient, and fearless, and conniving, and clever and a million other things. He’s a person all his own: A person who communicates a bit differently, and moves in his own way.

    There are several things he can’t currently do. But there are so many more things that he does with ease, and that others may not be able to do. He can smile, laugh, pet his dog, kick, dance, communicate, see, hear, snuggle and more.

    I was never an adventurous kid. I was super cautious and afraid of everything – monkey bars, water slides, thunderstorms (still hate these), etc. JB doesn’t have that caution or fear, though, and while that can obviously be dangerous, it’s a bit nice, too. Nothing is holding him back, not other people’s opinions, not his physical or medical limitations, and, as of last week, not his changing table anymore.

    Get ready for many more adventures from The Boy Who Wiggled. I have a feeling he’s going to give J.K. Rowling’s books a run for their money.

    Photo by Rae Tian on Unsplash.

    Thanks for the title suggestion, Jen!

    (Please note: this post includes Amazon affiliate links.) 

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