If you know me well, then you know that I am obsessed with Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”. It was the first book I remember reading which made a lasting impression on me. And while I wanted to name my first born Scout, I just couldn’t, as Demi Moore had just done so, and I was sure that people would think I was attempting to go Hollywood.
It was Andrew Bernstein, my neighbor when we lived in the condo on Monroe Street, who actually gave us the idea for Harper’s name. I think it went something like this,
“Why don’t you name the baby Harper if it’s a girl?”
It was perfect.
Now, my Grandma’s name is Lee, but seriously, could I really name my first born Harper Lee? No one would even believe that the middle name was her Great Great Grandmother’s name. No, they would just see . . . Hollywood. And, out of respect for Harper Lee herself, who would find it absolutely ridiculous that one would even name a child after her, I decided against Lee as the middle name. Instead we went with Ella, after George’s Grandmother.
I’ve told Harper how much I love reading and have shown her the card, above, which is actually in her baby book – a vision of a quality I saw in the daughter I carried. A painted prayer, if you will, that my daughter would embrace reading as I do.
So, you can imagine my glee when Harper came home from school today with her very own paperback copy of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone”.
“Mom, look what I bought at the school bookstore!”
Harper has an account so that periodically throughout the school year she can choose and purchase the books of her choice.
“Honey, we have all the Harry Potter books”, I answered, secretly excited that she had chosen the books (as she also picked up “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”), but thinking more about the money wasted on books we already owned, rather than the fact that Harper had made her own choice.
“Yeah, but they are too big and heavy to hold.”
She had a point.
She then ran upstairs, settled into the beanbag chair under her loft and read Harry Potter.
I found her in bed later that evening finishing Chapter One.
The funny thing is . . . I first began reading Harry Potter while pregnant with Harper. In fact, I remember clearly my father purchasing one of the books for me the summer of my pregnancy with her.
And now? She’s hooked.
I am awestruck at how much she has grown since February when we first began to investigate options for helping her. She has had an incredible inner growth spurt this year. Incredible. She’s vivacious, inquisitive, enthusiastic, funny, effervescent, imaginative, and becoming more and more of a risk taker.
Many have told met that she’s a new kid.
Nope. She’s my old kid. Returned. As all those adjectives above actually described Harper at age 3 and 4. They just quietly disappeared around 5, and have now begun to resurface.
And wouldn’t you know, that after all the discussion I’ve had with her about my favorite book and my favorite line in a book, she now knows that she can just tug at Mom’s heartstrings by simply tilting her head, staring at me with those huge, expressive blue eyes, and muttering, “Hey, Boo.”
I love that line. Scout discovering Boo for the very first time and yet realizing that even though they’d never actually met until that fateful night, she had truly known the real Boo all along.