So many memories are tied to my boys’ childhood with the Harry Potter series. We had car trips where we listened to audio books in the car while driving to the Black Hills. We had vacations where I had the latest Harry Potter book in my hands and ignored my children as we drove miles and miles. My husband would sit in the hallway in between the boys’ bedrooms and read them the books as they fell asleep each night, a couple of chapters at a time. But it also was a part of some big happenings as well. It was because of Harry Potter that we discovered that my son was being bullied.
You see, my husband and I were volunteering in his classroom and reading the second Harry Potter book aloud to his class while the teacher did paperwork. We did this a couple of times a week. This was the year that my son went to a new school. This was the year that we moved into a new house. This was the year that I would pick up my son every day from school and he would start to cry, just a little bit when he got in the car. This was the year that he would escape his reality and pour his mind into the pages of Harry Potter. We discovered the bullying because I happened to be in the class room to read Harry Potter and an adult pulled me aside and told me what was happening to my son. Should this adult have told me, nope, this adult broke some rules. Am I grateful that this adult broke the rules, you bet because sometimes you have to do what is right even if there is a rule that tells you don’t do it.
The effects of the bullying lasted for years…..visits to counselors, calls to the police, visits to the principal, calls to the head of the schools. I was a very protective mother bear! Through all of this my son would read, and read, and read. Reading became his coping mechanism. Reading became his escape from reality. Every school conference the teachers would tell us what a problem student our son was…..because he was always reading. Did he get good grades, you bet. Did that piss off some teachers, you bet. Most teachers understood when we explained what happened to him and why he was reading. But there were those few (one) that did not get it.
How bad did the reading get? In junior high he would read while walking down the hallway and while he ate lunch. I wish I had done that in junior high and could escape the mean things that fellow classmates would say. But then something happened and the reading became less and less. He discovered sports and he discovered that he had a body that was athletic and it felt great to run and jump and leap. Put aside were the Harry Potter books and picked up were the football cleats. But he survived and triumphed over the bullying and found his way in the world. Harry Potter made that journey for him an easier one for him. As a mother, I am eternally grateful!
I count my blessings as to what Harry Potter has done for our family. As I watched the last installation of the movie this weekend, I sobbed. I sobbed when Lilly Potter told Harry that she has always been there with him. I sobbed when Mrs. Weasley stepped up and took care of business. You see Harry Potter is not just a movie about a boy, witches, wizards and magic, it is also about the power and love of mothers!
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.ididit-fargo.com/.
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