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 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...)