What do you have in common with your kids? Not genetically -- you just have to take one look at Eden to know she's my twin -- but in a shared interest kind of way. As my girls get older and develop their own unique interests and passions, I'm so grateful that I'm still just a big kid myself and we can bond over a shared interest in Harry Potter or My Little Pony.
We're a cosplay-wearing, comic-con-attending, collect-the-whole-book-series total fandom kind of family. A friend was over recently and he commented that "we were all nerds in high school." Let me tell you -- we are nerds for life. And I'm so grateful. Because by having these common interests our family is strong. We can discuss the plot lines of Harry Potter, Star Wars, or My Little Pony over the dinner table like some folks may discuss the election. And these plot line discussions always lead to "real life" discussions. Oh, the life lessons we've gained from Harry Potter!
Harry Potter has helped us rationalize the behavior the the not-so-nice kids at school. Star Wars helps us understand how important it is to always be kind and not let the Dark Side take over. We are often exchanging the characters from My Little Pony for characters in the news and trying to find some comedy in the seriousness of life.
And it's so intriguing to me to reread the Harry Potter books through my now maternal eyes. Entire chapters that I glazed over when I first read the books as a young adult have such meaning to me now. I couldn't even read this passage from page 667 of "The Goblet of Fire" out loud, Eden had to take over. I couldn't see the words through the tears as this exchange had new meaning to me as a mom. This passage when Harry's parents come back from the dead to help him defeat Voldemort:
And now another head was emerging from the tip of Voldemort's wand...and Harry knew when he saw it who it would be...he knew, as though he had expected it from the moment when Cedric had appeared from the wand...knew, because the woman was the one he'd thought of more than any other tonight...
The smoky shadow of a young woman with long hair fell to the ground as Bertha had done, straightened up, and looked at him...and Harry, his arms shaking madly now, looked back into the ghostly face of his mother.
"Your father's coming..." she said quietly. "Hold on for your father...it will be all right...hold on..."
And he came...first his head, then his body...tall and untidy-haired like Harry, the smoky, shadowy form of James Potter blossomed from the end of Voldemort's wand, fell to the ground, and straightened like his wife. He walked close to Harry, looking down at him, and he spoke in the same distant, echoing voice as the others, but quietly, so that Voldemort, his face now livid with fear as his victims prowled around him, could not hear...
"When the connection is broken, we will linger for only moments...but we will give you time...you must get to the Portkey, it will return you to Hogwarts...do you understand, Harry?"
"Yes," Harry gasped, fighting now to keep a hold on his wand, which was slipping and sliding beneath his fingers.
"Harry..." whispered the figure of Cedric, "take my body back, will you? Take my body back to my parents..."
"I will," said Harry, his face screwed up with the effort of holding the wand.
"Do it now," whispered his father's voice, "be ready to run...do it now..."
The idea that Harry's mom shows up when he desperately needs her. How she tells him to hold on for his father. That even though Harry's parents were killed by Voldemort when he was a baby, they never really left him. They have always been there waiting to help when needed. The idea that Cedric, who had also been murdered by Voldemort, wanted Harry to bring him back to his parents.
Family. Family is everything. Even in a wizard-filled world where ghostly apparitions can emerge from a villain's wand and help save you. Or in a sci-fi world where Hans Solo caresses his son's cheek even though he is the baddest bad guy in the galaxy. That love triumphs evil. That family is always there for you even in the bad times. That we're always connected no matter what. And that is a message I will share with my girls every chance I get.