It’s here – the final Harry Potter movie. The end is in sight and I like so many others are am excited to see the movie (although I’ll pass on the midnight viewing) and at the same time mourning that it’s finally coming to an end.
You’ve got to read this book called Harry Potter, a friend of mine who worked in a book store told me years ago. It’s about a boy wizard and it’s all anyone in the book industry can talk about.
A boy wizard? That sounded kind of like science fiction to me – a genre I don’t particularly like. What the heck though, my friend and I shared many book recommendations and so I gave Harry Potter a try.
I read it in one night and then I turned around and read it out loud to my kids. Each night I’d sit in a chair in the living room and the kids would literally gather at my feet to hear about the on going adventures of the boy who lived.
My children will never be able to untangle their childhoods from that of Harry Potter. As each book came out, we’d begin the reading out loud (I finally stopped at the last two books – the lengths simply overwhelmed even me) and my kids listened with rapt attention.
We talked about Harry Potter. We breathed Harry Potter. My kids had wands, “broken” glasses, and wore Hogwarts shirts. My son Griffin was forever renamed Gryphondore by his Harry Potter loving friends. We counted down the days to the next book’s release.
When I found out that some of my kids were severely dyslexic I got the Harry Potter books on tape (yup, back then they weren’t on CD yet) and my kids listened to the stories over and over to the point that when they saw the text in the books they were able to “hear” the word and were finally able to figure out the codes.
Harry Potter helped teach my kids how to read.
I won 5 tickets to a showing of the first Harry Potter movie. The movie was being shown in a theater about 1. 5 hours from our house, a lot of work with young kids but I knew it would be a special event. At 5:30 in the morning, I dressed my 4 oldest boys in Harry Potter shirts, gave them each a bag of Bertie Botts every flavor jelly beans and we hit the road to get to the theater.
It was dark the sun hadn’t come up. Apparently it was the night of a meteor shower because when we looked to the skies, we saw shooting star after shooting star. It’s a memory that is seared into my kids’ chests of childhood memories.
Harry Potter helped my kids to believe in true magic.
One can not be a writer and not be moved by the whole Harry Potter publication saga. A single mother who believed in her story and who didn’t give up, the publication houses that initial passed on the first book, and the immense impact one woman’s writing has made on the world.
Harry Potter helped create memories for my kids but he also gave me the inspiration and determination to persevere in my writing. If J.K. Rowling could write under such adverse conditions then surely I can write under whatever complications of life I might have.
Hat’s off to Harry Potter, the boy who lived, the boy who taught, and the boy who has inspired us all.