Once Time Boy. Hero.

I wrote a story about my son watching the third Harry Potter movie, signing “deer” during the Patronus scene, and his engagement with stories. It’s a fairly serious piece, wrapped about some tearful and sweet moments, about presuming competence in an ableist world.

Here’s why all this matters. Presuming competence is a fine concept, but hard to execute in practice. Our society and its people are deeply steeped in ableist concepts relying on assessing skills and deficits, intelligence and abilities, based on highly prejudicial concepts of normal. No matter how enlightened one wants to be, it’s hard to go about presuming competence without evidence. So when my son cheers for Rey, Moana, or Harry, he’s not only showing me that he’s engaging with stories, but also telling me to remember that he’s competent in all kinds of other ways he can’t yet prove.

Sometime last fall, I told my son his usual good-night superhero story, which he capped off with “the end.” Then he grinned, and said, “once time boy. Hero.” Lying on his back, he raised his arms into the sky and made superhero flying sounds (a kind of whooshing sound). “Nico. The end.”

J.K. Rowling read it.

Additional pieces on narrative and my kids:

Leave a Reply