But since Zachary has proven to be a really good reader and since I simply couldn't stand to wait any longer, I decided that he and I would start reading Harry Potter this summer.
Being the ridiculous, rampant over-planner that I am, I had it all worked out beforehand.
There would be activities! There would be crafts! There would be worksheets! Every chapter would be a springboard for something wonderful and fun and complicated! We would make wands! We would make capes! We would drink butter beer and eat chocolate frogs and sort ourselves into houses! We would play Quiddich! We would learn spells!
I even began to devise in my head a rather complex chore chart system that involved the houses. It's quite astonishing how clearly we all fit into particular houses - R is Slytherin, I'm Ravenclaw, Zachary is Griffindor and Cooper is Hufflepuff, of course - so I was planning to run around all summer yelling "Socks on the floor? Ten points from Slytherin!" and "Vacuuming done? Twenty points for Ravenclaw!"
It was going to be epic.
And then we started reading. We finished the first chapter and I was starting to get up to go get our worksheets when Zachary said, "One more chapter? Please Mama?"
So we read one more chapter. And another after that. Somewhere along the way, as we were meeting Hagrid and going to Gringott's and learning to hate the Dursleys, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, we didn't need anything more than a good book, an eager reader, a happy Mama and a long summer afternoon to make it a special experience.
For both of us.