Tour of Play Day #5
“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending.”
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
September will mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first Harry Potter book. I didn’t start reading the series until three years later, right after my family had moved to Kansas City. Kaylea was six months old. I had just graduated seminary and was starting my first full-time position working in a church as a youth minister and worship leader. With the publication of each new book, I’d borrow a copy from the first youth who finished and lose sleep until I finished.
When Kaylea entered the 4th grade, we started reading the books together. Each night I’d read about half of a chapter before bed. It took an entire school year to read the epic series. That was the first time I read the books out loud. I didn’t know about Jim Dale’s amazing audiobooks. His incredible reading has made this trip quite enjoyable.
I made a deal with my wife that, if I came to Florida to meet the Tortugas, we would spend time as a family at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. Today and tomorrow I’ll be playing catch with my daughters and interviewing them about Harry Potter.
One of the lessons I’m learning over and over again this year is the incredible importance and power of physical play that engages the senses and delights the soul and makes new friends and leaves you with sore muscles and funny tan lines. “Life must be lived as play,” Plato said.
Kaylea will start her senior year of high school in two months. Her first day will be the day before my 44th birthday. Her favorite book is either The Chamber of Secrets or The Order of the Phoenix.
“I love the depth of the characters. I love the world J. K. Rowling has created.”
She’s the only member of Ravenclaw house in our family.
“Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure” has served as a motto for her scholastic career, though she is somewhat disappointed she’ll never get to take a Transfiguration class or visit with Professor McGonagall. For further proof of this motto, Kaylea has been spending two days each week at the library during the summer preparing for tests and exams this upcoming year.
As a violinist and perfectionist, her boggart would have something to do with stage fright.
“Or an F on a major exam. Or forgetting to take all of my tests.”
She would love to have a pet hippogriff or a phoenix, but her patronus “would probably just be a golden retriever.”
“As I think about the books and the series, some of the thoughts that have really stuck with me are the importance of real friends who stick with you and that Love is the strongest power.”
Kaylea and I woke up before we boarded the shuttle to head to Universal and stepped out in front of our hotel and played catch. We were accompanied by the squeaky bird that served quite well as an alarm clock. Thirty throws each. None into the lake. If we were in CST, it would’ve been the earliest game of catch at 6:15 AM.
At the end of catch, I was quite tempted to throw a ball at the heron on the other side of the pond, but I decided against it. It was probably a good choice.
Now, off to play!