A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend. ~Author Unknown
A good book has no ending. ~R.D. Cumming
We were at Waterloo Town Square this afternoon listening to our favourite accapella group, the Knight Caps. We stepped into Shoppers Drug Mart to cool off and saw a special Collectors Double Issue of EW titled: “Goodbye, Harry”. Of course, I had to have it even though I’ll never say goodbye!
The Harry Potter books and movie series have been a huge part of my life for the last 10 years. I can remember the dates I read each of the books, what I was doing in my life at that time, and who I saw each movie with! I first started reading the books in the summer of 2002 when I lived in Dundas while doing my master’s degree at Mac. Lucky for me, the first movie came out in 2001, so I got to watch it over and over again that summer. I immediately became enthralled in the series, pulled in by its underlying themes of friendship and love.
By 2003, the 5th HP book came out. I took it with me to Florida in June when Mom, Ashley, Jenny, Erin ventured down for a mini-vacation before my August wedding. When Sirius died, I cried and cried, desperately trying to hide my tears from Erin who was also reading the book! It felt like such a huge loss for Harry – no parents and now no guardian. I was totally entrenched in the story. After our wedding in August, I lugged HP 5 on our honeymoon so I could reread it and share it with Jeremy – he loved it too.
Book 6 came out in 2005 – it provided a welcome distraction from my uncle’s battle with cancer. I knew right at the end that Snape wasn’t evil and that Kreacher would eventually redeem himself for his earlier betrayal.
In the summer of 2006, Jeremy and I took our last kid-free, worry-free trip. I had all the HP books on my IPOD and listened to them as we traveled around Europe. I distinctly recall listening to book 5 while traveling to Inverness, Scotland, imagining the landscape Hagrid would have taken to visit the giants! Jeremy told me on that trip that we’d soon have phones and IPODs that would do way more, like be in colour and allow you to watch movies, etc. I laughed, thinking why that would even be necessary for anyone. This is coming from the owner of 3 IPOD touches…hmmm…one of which is Jamie’s. Anyway, we got to visit the HP castle used for the first 2 movies in Alnwick. Super cool. I can’t admit how much the train ride cost to get there – it’s too embarrassing - but it did make the trip for me!
The summer of 2007 was an important time for HP fans: Book 7 and Movie 5. I remember it distinctly b/c this is the year Jamie was born and he wouldn’t take a bottle. The only freedom I craved was 2.5 hours to see HP 5 in the theatres, so Mom met Jeremy and me in the movie theatre parking lot, I fed Jamie while Jeremy went to get our seats, and Mom took Jamie back to our house. It was amazing. Totally worth all the effort! I also remember being up during the night, like 3 or 4 am, reading book 7 while feeding Jamie. I was so scared at times that Voldemort was going to come around the corner, I had to stop!
The books have always provided me with a solace and an escape mechanism. I love how they take the reader away to different place where the main characters are surrounded by a deep friendship and love. Plus the books stress the importance of cultivating relationships with animals. It wasn’t until I had Kate that I realized another big reason I love this series: differences are accepted.
I guess I could write forever about how I feel about HP. As the movie series came to an end this week, I hope that something else can come to an end for me. After Kate’s 2009 birth, I entered into a really dark time in my life. I think my doctor thought I had bad post-partum, but looking back I now know it was my knowledge and awareness that something was different about Kate. When we weren’t sleeping in the fall of 2009, I reread the books over and over again. They helped me get through a very dark and scary time and for that I am truly grateful. It might seem a bit silly to place so much emphasis on a bunch of books, but it’s true. Reading them got me to calm down and sleep when I was at my worst in 2009 – 2010, especially last summer while we awaited Kate’s diagnosis. I remember one of the comments I made to Jeremy when Kate was tested for AS was “I just wanted to be able to read and share HP with her”. I’ll still do that…somehow…
Acceptance. Friendship. Love. Amazing messages to deliver to children, teens and young adults. Thank you JK Rowling for giving me such a wonderful safety net and providing me with pure enjoyment.
Kelly is Kate's devoted, caring, Type-A mom. Kelly is a high school physics teacher who earned her masters degree in neuroscience from McMaster University in 2003.