Your Heart's Desire

Maybe It’s Not What You Think

There are few things sadder than watching a great TV show reach its peak of popularity, then slowly run out of gas. However, because it’s a cash cow for the network, it continues on and on and on. The term Jump the Shark was originally coined from a Happy Days episode in the fifth season where Fonzie, on water skis, literally jumps a shark. It has become the universally acknowledged sign that a show has started its slow decline into cancellation, and rerun oblivion. Supernatural was originally designed to run only five seasons, and by most accounts, should have stuck to that plan. However, it just finished airing season fourteen, and rumor has it that season fifteen will definitely be it’s last. We’ll see.

That said, I recently saw a very special episode of Supernatural. When I realized what was happening, I asked my son Kevin to come and watch it with me. Dean makes a wish on a pearl that’s supposed to grant him his Heart’s Desire. Instead of getting what he expects, it brings his father, John Winchester, back to life. After the initial shock of John’s Lazarus routine, and a tearful family reunion, they eventually realize John has to go back. This makes for a very poignant dinner. Sam, Dean, Mary, and John have a lot of laughs and shed many tears. After all this time they are finally able to say their goodbyes to John. Kevin and I were both teary-eyed as we watched this touching scene. You could tell the actors were enjoying it as well. The episode ended with John in the Impala, speaking with Dean on the phone, back in the 90s.

The theme of that episode made me think of Harry Potter and The Mirror of Erised. The mirror that shows Your Heart’s Desire. Of course, for Harry, it shows his deceased parents who were killed by Voldemort. This got me thinking. Without going all Pet Sematary, what would happen if I could make a wish and receive My Heart’s Desire? Would it bring back my Mom and Dad, or deliver the latest gadget I was dreaming about on Amazon? More than likely, since she is my most recent loss, it would probably bring back my dog Skittles. Maybe that’s how the pearl would work. The loss currently causing you the most pain would be your wish. That sounds about right, and I’m sure Dean would agree.  Regardless, for me the episode was the highlight of the past nine seasons and I’m glad I was able to watch it with my son Kevin.

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Harry Potter Lullaby

Just Like That, Kevin Was My Little Boy Again

Recently, I went down to the basement to get my workout clothes out of the dryer. Our youngest son, who has recently moved back home (temporarily we hope), was catching some zzzs on the couch. He was recovering from a long shift on one of his two jobs. As he snoozed, I heard a podcast playing on his phone. Some things never change.

I was immediately reminded of what I always called the Harry Potter Lullaby. Since my wife is a TV Sleeper, early on my sons developed the habit of falling asleep while listening to background noise as well. They would listen to the soothing sounds of Jim Dale, as he recited one of Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s greatest adventures. Or, maybe it would be Artemis Fowl or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This would provide the necessary white noise as they drifted off to sleep.

For 19 years, I worked afternoons and my wife worked days. When I arrived home after midnight, odds were good that Harry would be playing on one or more MP3 CDs, my wife would have the TV going, or both. I fall asleep quickly, but I am a light sleeper. I would carefully turn off all of the CD players and TV, then gingerly crawl into bed before anyone realized the background noise had stopped. It’s the kind of ritual that’s a pain in the butt at the time, but when I look back on it now, I kind of miss it. Kind of.

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