It is said that everyone has a doppelganger out there somewhere; someone who looks so much like a celebrity or different person that people tend to mistake them for others, or are reminded how much they resemble another. My son’s had been the actual Harry Potter, boy wizard. Not the actor, but the character the actor plays.
Like Harry, David had the dark, thick, unkempt hair, the same glasses, and, oddly enough, a scar on his forehead (though his was sustained from a toddler clash from Lord Varicella and not Voldemoort).
He never intended to resemble the very famous boy wizard, but as a child who also always wore striped shirts, he couldn’t help but complete the role. Adding to his obvious likeness, his shyness and knowledge of the book further pushed the belief that he was, in fact, the most popular literary character today, in flesh form.
At times, the attention he received was maddening for him. As a mother, I thought it pretty funny.
We would visit the local library with regularity, and usually a smaller boy stopped in his tracks. He would point at son and his jaw would drop. The parent would be mortified at the pointing and jaw dropping. The child would stand there, gobsmacked and stammering and squeak, “That’s…Th-that’s…”as the now-annoyed mother would drag him into the library. “H-Harry Potter” would finally leave lips as a pair of adult hands finally whooshed him out of sight.And so it went.
Everywhere he went that particular summer, children everywhere met their childhood literary hero. Some asked him if he could do spells. Others, when acerbically alerted that he was not Harry, would look shrewdly at him in disbelief. “Then what school do you go to?Mine? Funny that. I’ve never seen you. Harry.” And the sound of stomping off punctuated the final syllables. Harry.
I’ve had adults say to me, “Has anyone ever told you your son looks like Harry Potter?”I’ve responded, “Only the ones the young Harry-I mean David– lets live.”
The town of Wembley, Texas, had its own pre-teen idol in my son. Young boys and girls swooned everywhere he went, whether it was recess or in aisle 10 of Brookmart in front of the Lucky Charms. Which are, I might add, magically delicious.
David never shared the opinion that it was cool to look like the boy wizard, even if it made him a local celebrity. And the one time he actually dressed up as Harry Potter one year after giving in, people weren’t that impressed. No. Everyone dressed up as a character from Hogwarts that year. The moppet muggle public wanted to see the day-to-day Harry, who shopped the local Krogies or could be found at the library.
He’s grown quite a bit since those days. Now, pushing 6′, built more like a linebacker than a Quidditch seeker, with long, wavy, Scottish locks in a big adorable mane on his head, he’s adapted a larger eyeglass lens style. It is relatively certain those days of “Harry Potter look-alike are inimitably behind him.”
A new state, a new school, different clothes, he’s been Harry-free for several years.
Personally, I thought him less grumpy and sarcastic in his Harry days, and so I miss the boy wizard-less who lived with me back in Texas. He wanted less cash, and didn’t roll his eyes back in his head whenever I asked him if he was going to wear those pants to school. Again.
The other week, someone at school said, “You know who you look just like?”
My son cringed. It was coming. He knew it.
“Weird Al Yankovic.”
And so it goes.