Monday, May 26, 2014

A vacation

Everyone knows there are no vacation days for the stay-at-home-mom. But every now and then I take some time off anyway. I don't actually go anywhere. I don't send my family away. I'm not off duty. However, I just put aside anything that can be put aside. I let the house go more than usual. I let the laundry pile up more than usual. I serve simpler meals. I pick up a good book and step into a different life for a little while.

Harry Potter had been calling my name for some time. I don't typically read a book more than once. I had read this series twice already. However, I was seriously feeling a PULL to read those books again. I tried for a while to fight it, and then I decided to read the first book. When I set out, I didn't really intend to completely check out for a week and read the whole series, but I'll have to say, I have never been able to put those books down once I get started.

It was a perfectly delicious week for me. Absolute indulgence. To devour those books, to NOT put the book down when I just couldn't put the book down, to stay up too late, to wake up too early, to live and breathe an incredible story for a week.......even though I didn't physically go anywhere, it was a true escape, a real vacation.

Stepping into Harry Potter's life for a week was a really intense experience. What real human life could compete with Harry's? I am raising four kids and he is saving the world. It's all important stuff, just very different. After my little reading vacation, I experienced a real re-entry (complete with turbulence) back to my life when it was over, just like the few times I have been physically away from my family for a few days. Re-entries are difficult partly because the house is messier than usual and the laundry pile is a bit higher than usual and partly because my mind is still a little bit on vacation, still processing the experience.

Now I am mostly back from my vacation. I have caught up with the laundry and chores. I've called my mother and reconnected with friends. I once again feel fully present when I am spending time with the people I love. Re-entry is now complete.


  1. Kelley, this sounds like bliss to me :-)

    We haven't read Harry Potter yet. I had read somewhere that the age of the main character is a good indication for the age range of the reader, and I believe Harry is 11 in the first book, so my plan is to give the books as an 11th birthday present. That's just a few months away now and I think I'm looking forward to reading these books more than he is!!

    As a Potter fan, what age would you put the later books at? I can't imagine we will wait until ds is in his mid to late teens to read them, but I have heard they get quite dark. Any thoughts?

  2. Oh, Catherine, it WAS bliss! :)

    As for what age to introduce Harry Potter to the know, I've read the series 3 times in the last 15 years, and in all those 15 years I was an adult. Every time I read them, I understand them differently. Books 4-7 especially are pretty deep and complex. There is a lot there to think about. I suspect kids of any age will not fully comprehend all that is going on. It may just come down to considering how likely they are to get scared by stories or movies. And if you have any worry about it, it is probably best to read them first and see how you feel about it.

    Nice to hear from you, Catherine! If you take your own Harry Potter vacation, let me know how it goes. :)