I don't remember who recommended that first Harry Potter book to me, but I know I was mesmerized. The amazing detail of Harry's fantastical wizarding world had me totally spellbound (pun intended) from the very beginning.
Over the next 13 years, I was constantly anticipating that next book or that next movie. I remember purchasing one book on the way to the lake and having it almost finished before we got home. Another book was purchased on the day it came out in an airport bookstore on the way to some educational conference somewhere. What a great way to spend an airplane ride or two!
That first book came out the year my babies were born...1998. How many late nights, doctor waiting rooms, afternoons at the pool, and long rides did Harry and his magical friends help me endure?
Not only that...but I also discovered them in audio format. Have you ever listened to the audio books? The narration is beautiful with a British accent that makes them so darn charming. Miles and miles have been put on my vehicles going to and from meetings with the drama of Snape and the silliness of the Weasley twins occupying my thoughts.
As the movies have come out, I have been delighted with the directors' abilities to put on the screen the pictures that were in my head. Yes, they have had to cut them down...leaving out precious details here and there, and yet I'm always "Wow-ed".
And it's ending.
This young man and his friends that have been a part of our lives for 13 years are leaving us with only the memories. We've loved some. We've despised some. We misunderstood many at one time or another. They made us laugh. They made us think. They broke our hearts. They gave us hope.
In the meantime, my son graduated high school, then went off to college and the Navy. My toddler transformed into a beautiful teenager. (She attended the midnight viewing last night with her friends. They only know life with a new Harry Potter adventure just around the corner!) My twins were born and have grown into Junior High kids.
What a perfect time in my life to have such magical company!
What a bittersweet day as I say a much anticipated goodbye to my friends.
Thank you for the memories, Harry. I look forward to introducing you to my grandchildren one day.