It’s true, the summer of 2016 was possibly one of the best summers of my life. Minus the moving part of course. What made it so good you ask?
First, I ate three and a half months worth of perfect peaches, sometimes two a day. Not one single mealy bite. Honestly, our local produce manager is a stone fruit genius.
Jacob and I also came to the joint conclusion that he was ready for Harry Potter. Oh how I’d waited for this moment. Years and years of suffering through The Big Book of Sea Creatures and Naked Mole-Rats, hoping that one day we could finally graduate to thousands upon thousands of pages of witchcraft and wizardry.
It was heaven. The best part of every day. Every night Jakey and I would cuddle up with our electronic tome graced with a few well-placed faceless animated illustrations. We read one chapter every night, sometimes two. We tried really hard to get Nate to join us but his five-year-old Muggle mind just wasn’t ready.
Jacob acted out almost every scene. Each character’s emotions, battles, forgivable and unforgivable curses. The only downside was when (spoiler alert) Dumbledore’s death unexpectedly coincided with some of our darkest, darkest days this past winter. A strange twist of fate. But it was also a wonderful, magical, intoxicating escape from reality. And we really needed that escape.
Once it was over, we were desperate. We read the Harry Potter stage play… and the screenplay. We read How To Eat Fried Worms. It wasn’t as good as I remembered. We read five entire Calvin and Hobbes anthologies. They were just as good as I remembered. We read three Cynthia Voight novels I read in fifth grade. And now we’re five books into a modern day series on greek gods and a young demi-god named Percy Jackson. It’s not quite the same, but it’s as close as we can get to the magical summer of peaches and Potter.
This past week, we spent a beautiful autumnal weekend in Ashland, Oregon. We stepped into the elevator of the Ashland Springs Hotel and the back wall has a glass case housing a leaf collection over one hundred years old.
And I say, “Hey Jake, look at that leaf collection. It’s like yours!”
And Jake says, “What Mom??”
“That leaf collection.”
“Mom, that wasn’t me… That was Calvin!”