Saturday, July 21, 2007

Like lightning

Last week, I was in a bookstore with my oldest son killing time before we were to go to a midnight showing of the newest Harry Potter movie. 

I happened upon an issue of "Entertainment Weekly" that had Transformers on the cover--it caught my eye.  There  was also a blurb on the front about the latest Stephen King column.   I love those!

Eagerly, I turned to the back page to read it.   It was about the latest Harry Potter book, and he made a point that really touched me.  I can't remember it verbatim, but it was something like this:  '...imagine what it is like for the kids who will be reading the last book, who started reading the series when they were eight, and are now eighteen.  It will almost be like they are closing a chapter on their childhoods when they finish this book.'

As I pondered that, I quickly looked over at where Nolan was standing, lump in my throat. 

Oh.  I hear you, Stephen.

The thing is, we started reading the books when Nolan was seven.  I remember winning tickets to take him to see a sneak preview of the first movie, and at the time, I was pregnant with Audrey.  We have dutifully plowed through the books, and have eagerly waited/attended the movies all along.

Now that Nolan has reached the ripe old age of thirteen, and Audrey is looking kindergarten full in the face, I am well aware of how I mark some of my kids' lives with Harry.

Tonight, Nolan, Ryan, and I braved the crowds at our local bookstore to buy the book at midnight.  We got home, and Nolan and I had our usual argument over who would get to read it first.

I won.

I read faster.

And besides, I paid for it.

I sat the book on my counter while I quickly ran to wash my face and get my jammies, and hurried out.  What did I start doing?  This.

While the book remains on the counter. 

I've been pacing around it, stealing glances at the cover like something is going to reach out and bite me.  I can't bring myself grab it and get started.  Surprise, surprise..suddenly I am not sure.   I don't think I want to know what happens.  

What's going to happen to my boy?

I'm very attached to Harry, to the idea that a magical world such as his exists.  I feel that the books have a lot of the qualities that make a book enjoyable to read; fantastic places, interesting characters, other worlds....

...not to mention Harry himself.  A motherless child, an orphan, mistreated by his relatives and in need of some serious attention?  Sign me up.  My Mom instincts go into such overload everytime his aunt pinches her face in disgust that I can feel my heart ache, my hand itch to slap that woman silly. 

Then there are the movies.

The actors in the movies have grown from children to gangly preadolescents to full-on teenagers now.  Like some crazy movie-biological clock-metronome is synching them, my son and his friends have changed in much of the same ways.  I can scarcely believe that the skinny little boy who held my hand while we waited our turn in line to the theater is the same boy, tall as I am, who sat on the curb listening to his iPod while we waited our turn in line yet again last week.

The time flies like lightning.

And the book waits on the counter, its orange cover glowing softly in the dim light.

I know in my heart that a work of fiction is fiction.  I know that the state of my world is not going to change in 759 pages.  I know.

(deep breath, as I have picked up the book...)

I'm ready.


candlejmr said...

I know what you mean.  My son LOVES all of the books.  He's almost 13 and has anxiously waited for the each book to arrive since he has been old enough to read them.  We preordered the book from Amazon and it arrives today.  He has been counting down the days until it arrives and he plans to read ALL DAY.  He finished the last book in 11 hours and he wants to see how long it takes to get thru this one.  He is ready.  He is pumped.  And it's sad to think that this may be the last time he gets this excited over a BOOK!!!!  

Yep, it's sort of sad...I agree.


jevanslink said...

I've added Harry Potter to all the JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis books I could never read.  Maybe grandkids will kick in a love of fanciful worlds.  Meanwhile, gimme NON fiction. Somehow I feel like a grinch.

Mrs. L

pixiedustnme said...

I feel the same way about the books.  I got mine last night, we read the first chapter and I'm not pushing to read the next one today.  I WANT to know what happens, but ya' know, when it's's OVER and I don't know that I want it to be over!  So for a while I'll take it slow (until we get a few chapters in and the plot takes off and then it will be all over for me!) LOL

wshgranter said...

I didn't know how to put how I feel about these books into words... but you said it exactly!
Stephen King also hit the nail on the head.  
I wish I could go to Hogwarts and hang with the gang.  I have loved watching these kids grow up and mine right along with them.  
We finally watched the 5th movie last night.  I think it was my favorite one yet.  Then we waited in line at midnight to get the new book
I am reading the 6th one again before I start the 7th and I'm not sure that I can bear (bare?) to read it.  I'll probably cry.
Great entry.

robinngabster said...

My husband called today from the base store in Oklahoma and said, "do you think Gabby would want the new harry potter book?"   I said UM YEAH!   So he grabbed her one...said they had 8 left on the shelf.   I myself have never read one but I do like the movies.  Maybe I will read them someday.  Enjoy yours!

jckfrstross said...

well said:) i never could get into the Harry Potter series and both kids would rather watch Star Wars all 6 or the Lord of the Rings. Hope the book is a good one:)


lilhoneybee81 said...

I feel the same way about the books.  I am anxiously reading through it so that I can finish it before someone ruins it for me, but I'm nervous as to what will happen.  I have become close to the characters, and I don't want to let them go quite yet.


screaminremo303 said...

The boy finally grabbed one the other night and then got pissy with me because I wouldn't let him stay up (on a school night) late to read. There was no way he was going to wait in line at midnight, but his Dad had fun driving past the line of goofy people outside the local store during shift, especially the two 20-something's that showed up in full-metal schoolgirl regalia like the girl in the movie. I call it a patrol watch, but most people call it stalking.

eilenbug said...

The Harry Potter books sparked my son's love of reading and I hope JK keeps up the good work!