I've had PSAs telling me for many years now that reading to my kids would foster a love of books and reading. Know what? They were right! (Not that I really needed a PSA to tell me to read to my kids. I would do it anyway.) We have more children's books in this house than toys. Easily! And that is saying a lot, because these boys have more toys than a Toys R Us.
While it's really obvious that my boys love books, it's not always apparent to me that they love books because of my efforts. Last night I had a small bit of tangible evidence that made me smile. Tyler and I have been reading the Harry Potter series together for over a year now. We are on book six and I will be really sorry when this Mommy and Ty time comes to an end. Sure, there are many other book series we can read together, but how much longer is he going to WANT me to read him stories? He is going on 10 years old now.
Last night Tyler asked if we could have a Harry Potter slumber party. He wanted me to read to him until he passed out. I wasn't allowed to stop reading until he was fast asleep. After two chapters, I could see his eyes getting heavy. Suddenly, as I read some dialog that spanned a page, I realized too late that I was using the wrong voice. I didn't think Tyler would notice. Really, did he even notice that I used a different voice for each character?
"Mom...that was Mr. Weasley talking. You used Mrs. Weasley's voice." Wow. He not only noticed, but he recognizes the characters simply by voice. It WAS Mrs. Weasley's voice I was using. I smiled and acknowledged the screw up and continued reading.
It may seem like a small thing, but I've worked hard to develop a voice for each character in the Harry Potter universe. Many of them are based on the accents and voices from the movies. In defense of my own creativity, however, I'd like to point out that I've been using these voices in my own head since I read book one...long before the first movie came out. Am I the only one who reads dialog in character in my own head? To the credit of the actors that portray these beloved characters, they do a nice job of bringing the voices to life. Many of them sound just like I've always imagined they would sound. :)
Yes, a small thing. But I am still smiling about it. You should hear my Lord Voldemort voice. Seriously creepy! (He sounds more like the evil Emperor from Star Wars than the H.P. movie version, but I think it fits.)