My daughter believes she can marry Harry Potter
simply by going to England and meeting him.
She hounds me: Why can't we go to England?
This is the problem with early reading.
She's literate at seven, but still believes
that Hogwarts Academy exists. Why not?
She's seen the movies and knows the books.
And it looks so real. What can I tell her?
At her age I was infatuated
with Nancy Drew. I wanted paper dolls
of Nancy and her friends. I wanted my family
to come up with mysteries for me to solve.
The detective life is old hat now,
and too realistic. My daughter wants magic.
I am the hardhearted dragon in the doorway,
telling her No, we can't go to England,
because the alternative is telling her that there is no Hogwarts, no Hagrid, no Harry,
no predestined marriage with Harry Potter.
She's still too young for the old French proverb
that if no one had ever learned to read,
few people would ever be in love.