In the Weasley’s large family there is every personality in the book. A goofy dad, over protective mom, a wild dragon taming sibling, the rule-following older brother, jokester twins, an unexpected and powerful sister, and more.
Harry, and all the readers that live vicariously through him, are drawn to this family. During Harry’s long summers at Privet Drive, he would long to be at the Burrow. Thinking of the hodgepodge house as his true home. Desite the fact that our young Ron could not see all the goodness, Harry and I saw so much to admire in this quirky family.
So the question is, how can our families look a little more like the lovable Weasleys?
1. Family Culture. The Weasleys have developed a family culture and they own it. They embody, for better or for worse, a ‘We are the Weasleys’ mantra. Even Draco picks up, on a part, of their family culture from on the streets of Diagon Alley, “all the Weasleys have red hair, freckles, and more children than they can afford.” What Draco sees as a negative, is truly one of the Weasley family’s strongest assets, their family identity. Yes, the Weasley’s wear second hand robes and look similar, but they also live life giving to others and fighting for what’s true.
There is a way of life out at the Burrow that is completely unique to them. They have their family’s way of doing chores such as de-gnoming the garden, traveling around the wizarding world in a flying car, and keeping track of each other with a magical clock. Even the goofy family owl, Errol, is part of their family culture.
2. Open Arms. The Weasleys, with their bold mother at the helm, are a welcoming family. Molly takes Harry in when she sees him confused trying to enter platform 9 3/4, and afterwards Harry becomes an honorary Weasley. In each book, we fall a little more in love with this quirky family as we watch them help Harry find his books, send a Christmas sweater, and keep an eye out for his well-being.
JK Rowling paints scenes of the burrow bursting at the seams with all types of guests and characters. The Burrow is described as very cluttered inside, but also very welcoming. Harry reflects that it is “as different as possible from life on Privet Drive“. The Weasley’s are welcoming to more than just people, they also welcome the challenges and situations of the everyday. They welcomed 7 children into their home, faced the threats of being a, so-called, ‘blood traitor’ family, and made the most of a life with little money.
Ron Weasley: “It’s not much, but it’s home.“
Harry Potter: “I think it’s brilliant.“
3. Celebrate. The Weasley family may lack oodles of money, but there is never a lack of cheer. This is a family that knows how to celebrate. Christmas at the Burrow sounds like a dream, not because it is a picture perfect wonderland, but because there is an atmosphere of celebration. They do not let days past without celebrating the good things in life. A special meal, gathering of friends, and a big fuss made of you is the recipe for a Weasley celebration. In the midst of one of the most terrible times the wizarding world had ever seen, they still managed to create joyful occasions for birthdays and weddings.
4. Integrity. No matter the situation we can see the Weasleys finding ways to display virtue. Each family member is not perfect, but rather virtuous in their own way. They are a family that does the right thing even when it is hard. Together they stand for what is good and true, like the protection and rights of all muggles and wizards alike. Mrs. Weasley is firm with her children when someone is out of line, note to self, you do not want to get a howler from Molly Weasley. Both Arthur and Molly are demonstrating and instilling strong character in their children.
5. Loyal. One of the areas that the Weasleys integrity shines brightest is in their relationships. Whether it is the way Mr. Weasley calls his wife “My Mollywobbles” or the way a brother protects his sister as a first year. The Weasleys are with you in all things, loyal through and through. They are the ones sitting next to you in the Ford Angelia when your crash into the Whomping Willow or walking you into your trial when the ministry calls you a liar. During the battle of the seven Harrys, 7 Weasleys put themselves in harm’s way to protect Harry, much against his wishes. Even Percy, when tempted by the orderliness of the ministry and dreams of success, eventually returns to stand with all the Weasley’s to fight at the Battle of Hogwarts.
6. Protectors. The Weasley’s are fierce protectors. They stand in the face of harm with reckless abandon for what is good. Just see Molly Weasley’s unforgettable line during the Battle of Hogwarts, “Not my daughter, you bitch”. She is the stay at home mom who kills Bellatrix Lestrange… awesome. Molly’s quote embodies the whole gangs attitude, it should definitely be on the family’s coat of arms. Remember when Ron tries to defend Hermione, but his wand backfires and he is left with a mouth full of slugs. Its this gusto that gives the Weasleys their signature charm. When called to action the Weasleys are battle ready.
7. Silliness. “Tell me, what exactly is the function of a rubber duck?“. The Weasleys embrace the things they are passionate about, no matter how undignified or silly they may seem. Chasing after jokes, dragons, and muggles, unabated by the norms of the world. This silliness can be seen in all the Weasley clan, but is personified greatest in the crafty, pranksters and heroes that are Fred and George. Harry is told upon his first visit that explosions from Fred and George’s bedroom were considered perfectly normal. Eventually, their silly sur name was on the goofiest place in the wizarding world, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. One of the things that makes them most appealing is that they boldly chase their interests no matter the appearance.
I am sure it took the Weasleys some time to figure out their family groove, and of course just like any other family everything is not always peachy keen. But for better or for worse, they are the Weasleys and they move forward like Weasleys do.
So go on and do your family’s version of Weasley!
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