Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rainy Tuesday

Yes, it's raining and it's about 46 degrees here, on this 10th day of April. We had a hard freeze over the weekend, but my little hyacinths seem to have survived. Welcome to Kansas, where it doesn't really get warm and stay warm until about June, when it becomes hot and stays that way until about October or so (or at least it seems that way).

I haven't done much updating of the exercise and dieting thing, but that doesn't mean I've given up. I'm on a Walk Kansas team and I'm making progress. My cholesterol has dropped back to within the normal range and the proportion of bad to good cholesterol is where it should be, too. And I've lost about 8 pounds. I know, that's not a huge amount, but it's progress and I'm glad.

I saw all my children over Easter weekend -- Megan came home, Julia and Mike came for Easter dinner and then after they left, Bob and I went to see John in Emporia. It was good, though exhausting, day.

I've been rereading Lloyd Alexander's Prydain stories: I finished The Book of Three and now I'm on The Black Cauldron. One thing struck me -- while many people draw comparisons between the Harry Potter books and The Lord of the Rings, they really have more in common with the Prydain Chronicles. With each book, both series go a little deeper and become more serious in tone, which is fitting as both tell the story of a boy becoming a man. As Taran (Alexander's protagonist) gets older, he encounters more challenging situations and must make more difficult choices. He also learns more about himself and learns about his origins (like Harry Potter, he's an orphan). Taran starts out impetuous and impatient, but he does grow up. But it doesn't happen overnight.

This is how J.K. Rowling has handled Harry Potter's coming of age, too. Harry starts out as a child, but by the end, he's almost a grown man. (It will be interesting to see what happens and how Harry handles it in the last book.) He, too, has to forge an identity without having grown up with his parents. One of the complaints I've read about Harry Potter is that he often acts irresponsibly and breaks the rules. But it seems to me that he's acting like a teenager, which is to be expected since that's what he is! But he is growing up and learning from his mistakes, and learning to deal with the consequences of his actions. I, for one, appreciate that Harry is allowed to act like a kid, not a miniature adult.

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