Ignorance is Magical
While a tornado raged overhead, a group of kids with seemingly no worries enjoyed a Harry Potter birthday party.
Maryland Heights residents will always remember where they were during the Good Friday storm. I know I will. My husband was in Los Angeles, so I was the only adult in a house full of eight-year-old girls, my teenage niece, my five-year-old son and my baby daughter.
We were having a Harry Potter themed slumber party, and there was so much noise inside the house that the partygoers barely noticed the storm raging outside. I knew it was serious when the emergency sirens started blaring.
“Let’s go downstairs,” I said nonchalantly.
“But we want to stay up here for the Harry Potter movie marathon!”
“That’s later. Now head to the basement. I’ve got activities planned down there.”
My daughter looked at me like I was crazy. Our basement is unfinished, full of junk we don’t want, and it’s littered with spider webs and dead crickets.
My niece carried down the flashlights, cell phones and baby’s diaper bag, while I glanced around for anything to entertain the children. I grabbed the yet-to-be-hung dragon piñata and a big box of sidewalk chalk.
I desperately hoped not having enough entertainment would be my biggest worry.
The power went out, and the girls screamed. One of them cackled, “Voldemort is coming for us!”
They all laughed and made spooky noises.
Seconds later, we had electricity again. Worried parents began calling and asking if their daughters were scared and if they were okay.
The girls seemed annoyed that their moms were bothering them.
I hung the dragon and announced in a terrible British accent, “Hogwarts students, it’s time for your Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson.”
The kids whacked at the piñata and eventually, thanks to my baseball playing son, chocolate “dragon eggs” in Easter-colored foil spilled onto the concrete floor. The baby bounced excitedly in her exersaucer.
The sirens continued; my niece and I exchanged glances.
Unfazed, the kids ate their chocolate eggs and compared quantities. Next they colored on the unfinished walls with chalk. One girl wrote in red: Your body will lie in the Chamber of Secrets forever! Another scrawled: Tom Riddle is coming for you!
Those creepy messages and flickering lights were as scary as it got at my house that night, at least for the children.
Once the storm had passed, we moved upstairs to eat wizard-hat treats, and my daughter opened her presents. When parents learned that our house still had electricity and no damage, they knew their kids were best to stay put. They told me about the destruction to some of their neighborhoods, and I felt sad for them—and very lucky.
I was glad I hadn’t shown the kids the shear panic I’d felt. Come the next morning, they would no doubt have enough to deal with.
But for right then, they were dancing around in robes and glasses and waving their wands, and the magic of ignorance created a blissful sleepover for a gaggle of little witches, a boy and a baby.