Like many people my age, I grew up reading (and loving) the Harry Potter books. As a child who loved imaginary games, the series just ignited my imagination. But it also had the added benefit of securing lasting friendships as well.
I discovered the first book after my best friend shared it with me. We eagerly awaited the arrival of each one after that and would spend hours discussing what might possibly happen next. We’d comb through the existing books, looking for further intrigue and debate the merits of each character until our fingers bled on MSN.
In short, the books were always special to me growing up. In all honesty, if I had spent as much time focusing on my GCSEs as I had on reading Harry Potter – I would’ve done a lot better. But all that aside – the magic never died for me.
I may have been known to ‘sort’ my pupils into houses and have them compete against each other in class. Teaching medical ethics whilst encouraging kids to channel their inner Slytherin is actually kind of fun. I also massively love the end of term prize giving. Purely because it’s the only day I get to wear my teaching gown – so I can swan down the corridors pretending to be McGonagal.
But what has this got to do with my Harry Potter Baby?
Early on in my pregnancy with Thomas, I experienced some cramps and bleeding. Things had not been going well generally around that time and I was certain I was losing him.
After explaining this to the hospital, they invited me in at the weekend for an early scan. We didn’t have anyone to watch Katie so it was actually my friend Megan who came with me. I was so sure it was going to be bad news.
When the sonographer announced there was a strong heartbeat I was utterly amazed. But then he gave the due date of the 31st July.
Unless you’re equally a Potter Geek I should explain that the 31st July is actually Harry Potter’s birthday.
I explained this to the sonographer who grinned and said he knew that – I was obviously just having a magical baby and it would be ok.
Everything was going to be alright…
My pregnancy continued apace – and although I still worried I just held on to the magic due date.
At a later scan they tried to change the date but I asked them to check again and sure enough – 31st July. Knowing that no babies are actually born on their due dates, I just continued being amused by it. I bought a massive Hogwarts t-shirt and sent lots of pictures to my friend sharing my amusement with her.
It got to the point that I was so big that people kept saying I would pop any day. Katie had come early so I was sure my 2nd would be the same. But as each day in July passed by, I just assumed he would be late. He wouldn’t actually arrive on his due date.
Except he did.
Almost as soon as my labour started. Which was not magical. It was sore.
But on the way home that night, something did happen. The sky was a network of light. Streaks of bright light filled the sky. In the books, this happens when people fire their wands in the sky to create a web of protection or in celebration. It must sound utterly weird/pathetic/odd to anyone who doesn’t really love the Potter series but to me – it was just a sign of welcome to Thomas.
Ok… it was also a sign that the oil refinery across the water was burning off gas. But it really did look epic!
It was also pretty cool that Classic FM was playing non-stop Harry Potter music in celebration too!
Why am I writing about this now?
For the observant amongst you, today is the 31st July. It’s Harry Potter birthday. It’s JK Rowling’s birthday. And of course it’s also Thomas’ second birthday.
He continues to be my magical baby everyday of his life. Without being super cheesy, we really are all under his spell. His cheeky grin is just infectious and his ability to cause trouble out of nowhere is unrivalled!
I don’t know if he’ll grow up to love the Potter series as much as I do but I look forward to being able to share it with him. Given that he doesn’t care right now, I’ll just enjoy dressing him in Potter paraphernalia and will party on with some butterbeer.
P.S. If you’re wondering – I prefer the connection to Dean Thomas and not Tom Riddle if we’re looking for name associations!
P.P.S. His two middle names also have Harry Potter connections too.
P.P.P.S All three of his names also have ‘sensible’ family connections too – I just prefer the Harry Potter ones!