The Sorting Hat


We’ve been reading Harry Potter at home these days. My son has bounded into reading over the course of the year, but chapter books are still too hard, too frustrating, too lacking in pictures. So we read aloud, me armed with a glass of water for my parched throat, him curled up next to me as though he, too, knows these moments are fleeting.

I’ve read the Potter books myself countless times, but reading out loud makes you Notice Things. There’s more introductory backstory than I remembered, and other small details stand out, especially if you have the perspective of the whole series.

After kiddo went to bed the other night, I remained on the couch with the book, thinking about the Sorting Hat, and my own life.

I’m attending a conference in a few weeks, and blogging conferences always fill me with a mix of emotions, not least of which is the anxiety that presents itself beforehand. Professionally speaking I’m in a better place than I was last year for this conference, and while I know (and accept) I’m not in the big leagues, I’m happy with my choices and what I do.

For the most part.

Everyone knows doubt, and how it can worm its way into the most confident of souls. It kind of is a worm, isn’t it? Pushing things around to get where it wants, somewhat blindly casting dirt — which turns out to be the good stuff — aside.

But then, there is the Sorting Hat. If you recall, the Sorting Hat originally wanted to put Harry into Slytherin. You could be great, you know, it’s all here . . . . In Harry’s short acquaintance with the wizarding world, he knew he didn’t want to be in Slytherin. He didn’t know what his path would be, but he didn’t want the one that would almost certainly lead to greatness at the cost of himself.

Our Sorting Hats are only metaphorical, but they’re still there. We make the conscious decisions on where we want to be, what kind of person we want to be.

When it comes to blogging, or being a mom, or pretty much any choice in life, there’s always going to be the path that makes us give up who we are in search of greatness. Always.

Some take that path, and some don’t. The path they take is theirs, and the path you take is yours. There is no great road to Stardom, just like there was no great road for Harry to overcome everything. He did it by stumbling and being afraid and even dying for a bit.

Our paths created with each step, and often erased behind you. No hat can tell you where your next step should fall.


  1. says

    Good words for me to here at this time in life. BTW what conference are you going to?


    Megan Reply:

    @Jenn Thank you! I’m going to BlogHer Food in Miami.


  2. says

    Great read. I feel the same quite often at the types of conferences you’re referring to… and I suspect, in many ways, most people do… even the handful who seem to have become the “stars.” And I also suspect, even if that’s not the worry that plagues them, something else does. At this point in my life I’ve realized we ALL have issues and problems. Some people are just better at hiding them that others :)

    Shifting gears — how old is your son? And how long do you guys read each night? I’d love to help my oldest explore the wonderfulness that is Harry :)


    Megan Reply:

    @Regan Thank you! I agree, I bet most people feel this way but are too afraid to admit it!
    My son is 6.5, and we try to read for about 30 minutes a night. We only do one chapter of Harry Potter a night, unless we get started earlier.


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