Tag Archives: spells

The morning I cast a spell to open the milk.

This morning in Mexico, I was preparing a breakfast of Froot Loops and Zucaritas! (Frosted Flakes) for my two favorite niños, Emily and Christian.  In my very, very limited Spanish, I asked Emily, “Con leche?” With milk? To which she answered, “Si, por favor.”  Yes, please.  (Emily is very polite, even in Spanish… must be good parenting.)

So, I retrieved the carton of milk from the fridge, which was packaged in a very European-style box.  (Except obviously, this is also Mexican-style packaging.  I just didn’t realize it until now.)  Until this point, I had done everything with a flourish to entertain Christian and Emily.  Good morning, darlings, can I pour you a bowl of cereal for breakfast?  And which one would you like– we have honey nut cheerios, froot loops, and zu-ca-RI-tas!

But then I had to open the milk.


Ok, self, you are a PhD-educated adult.  This carton of milk with NOT defeat you.  Use your super-sized problem-solving skills and big, fat, human brain to open this carton.  And while you’re doing it, turn your back to the kids so they don’t see you struggle.

But then I noticed it– LEVANTE!  Lev… lev… lev… wingardium LEViosa?  LIFT?!

Oh, I’m sorry, are you unfamiliar with Harry Potter?  There is a great scene in the first book/movie (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) where Hermione schools Ron on this levitation spell.  It’s wingardium leviOsa not wingardium leviosA!

And yes, I thought of wingardium LEVisosa before I thought of LEVitate.  But think about that for kids… and the incredible impact that reading can have on a child’s capacity to understand words.  Words through context, words through roots, words through association.  That’s awesome!

I went to school for over 20 years and studied lots of different things, but I really think I learned most of the important life-kind-of-things that I know by reading books.  Good books and not-so-good books, I learn something from every single one…

Even spells!


(Whose the nerd now, Tom?!)