July 18, 2011
Monday Morning Meditation: The end of my childhood
But this weekend marked the end of an era for not only me, but for the "Harry Potter generation."
I was definitely one of those kids who grew up with Harry--eleven when The Philosopher's Stone was published, and twelve when it's American counterpart, The Sorcerer's Stone, hit the bookshelves. The funny thing is, I came into Harry's world through my little brother. See, Harry was a boy hero, and not many children's books were geared towards boys at the time (and they still aren't. In the kid lit publishing world, girls reign.) So, either my mother or grandmother, I can't remember which, bought the book for my brother thinking he would enjoy it.
I scooped it up and my world has never been the same. I anxiously awaited each new publication, and I went nuts when the movies were released. Something about wizards, and witches, and magic wands: I wanted to study at Hogwarts.
But the highlight of the series for me was when the seventh and final book, The Deathly Hallows, came out.
I was living in Florida for the summer and landed my dream job of working in a bookstore. We were set to have a midnight release party for Harry. I had never stood in line at midnight for any of the book releases, mainly because whoever bought my brother the first book, always brought along the next book in the series when it was published. But the seventh book was different. I was twenty. I was an English major in college, desperately wishing to become a writer. I was ready to not only read, but pull apart all the symbols from the last book.
We wore costumes that night, and I was Luna Lovegood. I made Butterbeer frappe's for kids, and watched the line weave back and forth through the book store.
We had trivia questions, guessing games, and wizard duels. There were witche's hats, and magic wands, and Gryffindor badges. We escaped to the wizarding world that night.
And when the clock struck midnight, the book boxes were opened and magic filled the air.
Ok. So that might sound cheesy to you, but like I said, I grew up with Harry Potter. His world is magical, and it has forever changed not only the world of children's literature, but the way and the amount of what kids read.
So needless to say, with the opening of the last film, a little bit of me is sad. Yes, the story ending actually came years ago for me, but now the film side of Harry, his world come to life, is over.
No more excitement.
Not more anticipation.
Only re-living and re-reading.
Beyond that though, I cannot wait for the day when I will introduce my children to Harry Potter and watch their faces fill with delight as they enter his world.
*And if you are wondering, the film version of Deathly Hallows, Part II is a magnificent ending to the film side.