Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It All Ends 7.15

This isn't another one of those "end of the world" forecasts, although with the weather we have on the East Coast lately, it feels about like we've all descended a bit closer to Hell.  In addition, the poster below certainly has an apocalyptic appearance.

Harry Potter ends.  Can you believe it?  Sigh.  Sometime after the first book in the series was released in the United States in 1998, I read a tiny review of the book in Time Magazine and thought it looked like a great story for my older son who was avidly reading chapter books by then.  I eagerly searched a couple of bookstores and finally located it, on the bottom shelf, all alone, in the children's section of a local bookstore (pre-Amazon for me and most of us, and definitely pre-Harry Potter mania).  In the first book, Harry is 11 years old.  Each year thereafter, a new volume was released, and each year, Harry and my son were a year older.  I could mark each book release with another year in my son's age (and then my younger son when he began to join in the marathon reading races). 

There were the years when we had to buy two books of each volume in order to keep the peace, the years we pre-ordered them, the years I brought them up to the summer camp pick-up day or purchased them at the local bookstore in Wellesley on the release date so that we wouldn't miss a day (oh horror!) while I was driving them home from camp, and they'd read raptly in the backseat through the drive home.

Seeing this enormous (and scary) poster in Times Square for the new, and final, movie release is so sad to me, and simultaneously so full of memories of the times we spent with Harry Potter in our lives - the books, the films, reading together, and watching my sons eagerly read on their own (not to forget drawing the lightning bolt scar on their foreheads with my lip pencil so they could be Harry Potter at Halloween, with glasses and cape).

We've all grown up and away from Harry Potter, and now Harry Potter is growing up and away from us.  Good grief - it's even tough to see a grown-up Daniel Radcliffe in Broadway productions  (not for lack of talent, rather for the reminders that time has marched on and that we're all so far away now from so much of the wondrous innocence and promise that marked the first volume of that magical world).

Thank you so much, JK Rowling, for the memories.  1998 seems a lifetime ago.

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