After an evening in an Islington pub , in the company of of a dodgey priest , some prostitutes , some peasants ,a deaf man with an awful physical disabilities, a beautiful abandoned gypsy woman ,all in a space no bigger than our kitchen * ,I came home ,made coffee and bedded down with the Saturday papers .I didn’t get any further than page one of the Family Section of The Guardian , the theme being ‘your biggest regret as a parent’ . The first one was funny , a mother, who so exasperated with her youngest daughter ,tipped a bowl of cold spag bol over her head ( Jacob – do you remember the episode with the chips on Brighton seafront ? ).
The second one entitled ‘Christopher and Harry’ stopped me in my tracks. It was written by a father,Richard Salmon who over the years read all the Harry Potter books to his son ,Christopher…
” In the summer of 2007 ,Christopher and his mum ,Julie, older brother, Jonathan and I were on holiday in Center Parcs when the last in the series Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was published. Now 14 ,Christopher,of course ,had no desire for me to read to him any more and as I recall ,hid himself away and devoured the book in more or less one sitting.
In February 2009, Christopher fell ill. His condition worsened as the week went on , so we took him to hospital .On arrival at A&E ,Christopher collapsed and had to be rushed to the crash room .He never recovered and died from a rare streptococcal infection.
I now regret not having read that last Harry Potter book to Christopher and how I wish that harry,Ron,Hermione and Dumbledore could once again get together and would perfect the ultimate spell that would bring Chrisopher and his beautiful smile back to us.”
I know just how Richard Salmon feels. I too have regrets.
* Quasimodo – The Musical