J can be a downright pain in the arse sometimes, but then there are moments when you think 'yep, this is what being a parent is all about'. He and I share common reading interests occasionally - one of the most perfect moments of my life was talking to him about Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath (he studied Ted Hughes for English). He doesn't particularly like Shakespeare, he thinks the Bard is over-rated, but at least we can discuss his works rationally. He, like most of his generation, is a very critical reader of the media that surrounds him.
We are currently duelling over the current Harry Potter. He read some yesterday, I read more today. He had to read more tonight, and now is about half way through. There have been criticisms of this latest book, too dark, won't bring in the young audience etc etc. J read the first book when he was about 12. He likes the fact that the themes grow with the reader. He said to me tonight that he is thoroughly enjoying the aspect that Rowling is now exploring the deeper, psychological elements of the characters as they too grow older, experiencing the burdens of 'teenage angst', and other emotions that we all have to face as we grow towards adulthood. J commented that he was very pleased that Rowling had resisted the temptation to keep her characters innocent and naive, appealing to a younger audience. From J's comments it seems that Rowling has stayed faithful to her 'first' readers, writing stories that grow with them.
Those are the moments I cherish, a fractured conversation, a brief connection, a shared thought. Rowling may have her critics but I wholeheartedly thank her for creating something that my son and I can share, discuss and enjoy together.