• From Us Parenting

    Harry Potter As Hope After All This Time: Reflections on Parkland

    When Trump was elected, I spent pretty much the entire months of November and December watching the Harry Potter movies. Luckily ABC Family (or Freeform or whatever they’re called these days) had a million Harry Potter movie marathons so I didn’t have to look very hard for it. There’s a two-fold comfort for me in watching these movies.

    First, of course, the nostalgia. I literally grew up right alongside Harry, Hermoine, and Ron. We got the books as soon as they came out and stayed up all night reading them. They make sense. So, this is where I turned to when it seemed like nothing made sense anymore. I was pregnant during the election period (just about 6 months along) and I was feeling hopeless. Just so sad. I couldn’t believe that I was bringing my daughter, my first child, into a world where it seemed hate and all kinds of oppression were being legitimized. Of course, it’s always been hard and there’s always been oppression. But, this felt like so many achievements were being undone. It still feels like we have a whole team of Umbridge’s running around adding yet another decree.

    Second, after all this time, they give me hope. Always. (See what I did there?) Like I said, I watched all of the movies over and over again but specifically movies 5-7. If you’re a Harry Potter nerd like me, you know this is really when everything with Voldemort is escalating and the crew, who led by and large by young people with the occasional support from elders is building the resistance.

     

    And that’s exactly what we’ve been seeing lately. Always, but especially since this past election, I’ve seen youth around the country and the world mobilizing, fighting back against the system.

    When the senseless murders happened at Parkland, I again retreated back into my cupboard under the stairs. It just doesn’t make any sense to me (does it really make sense to anyone?) that this was the 18th school shooting JUST THIS YEAR. And conversations in the government center the NRA and do little to nothing to prevent massacres like these from happening again.

    My feelings are pretty neatly summarized by this tweet:

     But, I would add that young people are doing a phenomenal job. I’m sad that there is such a burden on these new era freedom fighters, but so proud of the work being done. Watching the fire in these young people taking on reporters and speaking their truth is inspiring, and I know full well it’s at a cost. They are running on fumes produced by traumatic experiences and they can’t be the only ones pushing for change.

    Who are we if we’re not protecting our children? We shouldn’t be anxious or have to worry when sending our kids to school, when sending our future generation to school. Yet, here we are. As I said, I am a nerd and I like to plan, and I have been running through, working and re-working age-appropriate conversations I’ll be having with my daughter. The list keeps growing and growing. I have to be honest, it is so disheartening to have to add this topic on. This is something that should have been solved years and years ago. I’d like to think that if we were living the Harry Potter movies, we’d be right in the middle of the 7th movie. Just when you think that all hope is lost and that the proverbial evil is winning the battle. Let’s remember that we have another entire movie to go and that in the end, love wins. Good wins. In the meantime, I’ll keep fighting and hoping the world will be a better place in the years to come.

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