Remember the first time you watched The Karate Kid?
Boy, I sure do.
This was a few months before I started really liking boys, so the Ralph Macchio appeal was not there yet. What I loved most about that movie was the fact that, after watching it, I innately KNEW karate. If I simply copied Danielsan's "paint the fence" or "sand the floor", I too would be able to compete in the All-Valley Karate Tournament.
Not only that, though, I also would face my nemesis, Johnny of the Cobra Kais, and defeat him despite having an injured leg. In the end, I would get the girl and the respect of my archenemy.
(And of course, after that, my mentor would choose me to accompany him to Okinawa, where I would learn "beat the drum" and defeat an authentic karate guy, as opposed to a Californian wannabe.)
Ahh, a wave of nostalgia washes over me. Who can forget the bitter disappointment when "wax the car" actually was useless in combat? Or when the sublime "crane technique" was way harder than it looked? That was probably my first disillusionment with Hollywood. Alas...
And now, history repeats itself. My nine-year-old has just finished reading "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and is now frolicking about the house, screaming "Expecto Patronum" and "Expelliarmus" and "Riddikulus" at top volume. While brandishing a ball-point "wand", I might add here. And the kid fully expects these spells to manifest. It's sad, yes, and yet, I am filled with a sense of deja vu.
So while his spell-yellings have not produced a Patronus, Spencer is learning this morning that it immensely annoys his brother and sister (working a special kind of magic, I guess), and that he is one spell away from a kick to the goolies.
The magic of childhood.