I flipped the paper open after Calder and I finished our lunch only to see, "HARRY'S FINAL SPELL" as the title on the front page of the Arts and Life section of the Star Phoenix. I started to choke up.
I am taken back to the ONLY Saturday night in my final semester at the U of S that I wasn't out with friends (truthfully, we were all WAY to hungover from Thursday and Friday to make our way out on Saturday). I had borrowed the first 2 installments of the Harry Potter series from the city library. Students were talking about these books and I needed to see what they were all about.
I remember laying on Twyla's couch in our apartment on Pinehouse (our 2nd home that semester as our first burned down during the February break - whole other story). I was enthralled. I could not put Harry Potter down.
I quickly got caught up to J.K. Rowling's most recent release and began waiting, anticipating and then reading the books the moment they were released. The books were always released around this time of year. I have memories of Deena picking us each up a copy at Walmart the morning it was released - we DID NOT want to miss out. I remember reading on Hugh's couch in his condo while he was working. I remember trying to read slow; to savor every word. I remember reading fast; I had to know what was going to happen.
I remember when the last one was released. I didn't want to start reading it. It was ball provincials weekend and I knew that I wouldn't be able to completely focus on ball if I started to read! Hugh couldn't resist starting and when provincials were over we battled each other on who got to read it when. Eventually, Hugh gave in and I finished it a 3 days. I did not put it down. Hugh and I went on a road trip right after I finished and I read it out loud for Hugh while he drove. He was almost as obsessed as I was. I couldn't give it back to him when we arrived back home, so we would lie in bed and take turns reading it out loud. Even though I knew the ending, I wasn't able to read the last couple chapters. I was a bawling mess.
Even though I didn't grow-up with Harry Potter, I grew with him.
In the Star Phoenix today, Katherine Monk says it perfectly. "Harry Potter is nothing less than a vessel of humanity redeemed through love, and love is the reason why this movie makes your eyes tear up and your heart well with empathy."
Hugh and I can't wait for the day we can share Harry Potter with our kids. I just know they'll be a copy in heaven. I can already see Calder, Hugh and I curled up in Calder' big boy bed pouring over every word (and fighting over who gets to read out loud next).
If you have not read the books, I implore you to give one a try. In the very least, watch the movies. I won't be surprised if you fall in love.
Photo borrowed from: