I’m not a huge Ron Weasley fan. In fact, he’s my second-least favorite of the Weasley clan. That said, all of the people (including JK Rowling) claiming that he’s just not suitable for Hermione Granger are kind of getting on my nerves. Rowling has even said that she regrets writing them as a married couple.
Have none of you heard that opposites attract?
When my husband and I were high school sweethearts, a lot of my friends had problems accepting him. He wasn’t a bookworm, a studious kid like the rest of us. He was a gearhead goofball who happened to be as infatuated with me as I was with him. In some ways, we are exactly alike; in others, we are complete opposites, and we complement each other so well. We have been together for nearly two decades. Friends who remain with us after all of that time have given me a secret nod, or even told me that they “get it” now, after they’ve found their own seemingly mismatched bookends.
I have the same view about Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter. So many people claimed Ginny was nothing but a “Mary Sue” out of left field, but ever since she told him off in Order of the Phoenix when everyone else was afraid to put him in his place I’ve adored her. I think she and Harry make James and Lily come full circle.
When I think of these fictional couples, I also think of the relationship we have with our kids. In some ways, my daughter is just like me; in some, she’s my exact opposite. Sometimes this drives me absolutely crazy. Sometimes I have to laugh and think how much better she’ll have it because of the ways she’s not like me.
She makes me practice the Art of the Wait.
When she worries me about her willingness to eat up the religious teachings of people outside our home… When she refuses any form of formal instruction… When she even kept hitting in anger long after her toddler years, I found my patience tried, my mind ripped open, my worries solidified like fear shortening. If I could have simply reminded myself to wait a little, and wait a little longer, and wait a little longer, I think I could’ve saved myself plenty of from so much mental anguish.
She’s done things in her own time since conception. A premature baby, she’s always taken longer than other children to do everything from talking and sitting to using the toilet on her own. And I keep repeating this same cycle, worrying when she’ll get this or stop doing that, even to the point of having nightmares about it. Then she surprises me when out of the blue, on her own, she simply stops hitting. Or she announces, “I can’t believe people still use religion to explain science.” Or she grabs a math game and announces she wants to learn something she previously hated.
As parents, we have to really meet our kids where they are and accept them there. Sometimes we have to wait for them to be ready to move into their own growth (and holy cow, is it hard, so, so hard sometimes) or to “get” things on their own. Sometimes we just have to let go of the idea that they will be who we want them to be because they are their own people. I would argue that I practice my faith–faith in my kid, in my own abilities, in my family–every single day. And I would have to simply shake my head at anyone who might argue that I do not believe in something “greater than myself.”
I think Hermione Granger believed in something greater than herself, too. Love isn’t perfect and it certainly doesn’t look like what we think it “should” look like. It takes effort and trust. It is the Bigger, the thing we have faith in, the thing that is very real and as strong as it is fragile, as silly as it is solemn. If I passed Ms. Granger on the street, if I didn’t beg for an autograph first I’d give her that secret nod and let her know I get it.
Even if I do have to be reminded every now and then.