While most of my fifth-grade peers were reading the Baby Sitters Club and Choose Your Own Adventure books, I was knee deep in Stephen King’s macabre world of murderous classic automobiles, axe-wielding hoteliers and unfortunate authors whose caretakers chop off their feet.
It’s safe to say my parents were pretty liberal with what I read and watched on TV from an early age.
Don’t worry, this is not another boring diatribe about the pros and cons of exposing our children to graphic novels and allowing them to watch too much TV. I was a kid who watched a ton of TV and began reading horror books at the age of 10, and that love of reading and the vocabulary I picked up from television helped me immensely. And I fully intend on raising Will the same way.
I won’t lie, part of it is because children’s programming is truly atrocious and mind-numbing. So the answer is yes, I want Will to watch some of what I watch because I’m not willing to share the TV. That’s probably why Will recognizes Family Guy immediately and loves it when the Red Sox and Patriots grace our living room in all their HD glory.
But our favorite thing to watch together, by far, is Harry Potter.
Will knows that Harry can fly on a broomstick and play Quidditch. He knows Dumbledore is Harry’s teacher and friend. He loves Hagrid because Hagrid is a giant, and who in his right mind doesn’t love giants? He knows Hogwarts School of Wizardry & Witchcraft is where Harry, Hermione and Ron go to classes together. And he knows that Harry & friends use a wand to cast their spells and create magic.
Unfortunately, the only spell he knows is “Avada Kedavra.” Also known as the killing curse.
I know there are those of you out there who think it’s highly inappropriate for me to teach my 2.5-year-old about death as he keels over from the wicked spell I repeatedly threw at him, but you can all go screw yourselves. Because that shit is flat out hysterical!
To the haters I say, Avada Kedavra!