Just some Harry Potter ramblings...

Harry Potter is like a member of our family. He's like that favorite cousin that comes to town every year and a half or so, and just pops in while we're eating dinner, and we're all so excited to see him that we get up from the dinner table and forget about our roast and mashed potatoes. He breezes in, hugs and handshakes all around, visits for a short time and breezes out again.

HP came into our lives when Ryan was about 7 or 8. My mother-in-law was trying to think of what to get Ryan for Christmas one year, and asked me if he would like to read the Harry Potter books. I wasn't sure that he would at all, they'd been out a couple of years, and he'd never shown any interest in them, but I told her we'd give them a try. So shortly after the holidays we began reading "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". Together. Side note - I always loved reading to my kids, and was sad when they got old enough to want to read all by themselves... Anyway - we read the book - and LOVED it. We were hooked. So after we finished, we read "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". Again, together.

The third book is where we parted company on reading. Ryan was old enough to read big books on his own, and I was more than a little sad about it. What I was mostly sad about was that I had to wait for him to finish so that I could read it myself! This was also around the time that the first movie came out. We were shocked to learn that we had been pronouncing Hermione's name wrong the entire time! It took two or three more books before I was able to hear "Her-MY-uh-nee" in my head instead of "Her-MEE-uh-nee" when I read her name.

The movies gave life to the characters we had grown to love. AND to hate. They were perfect.... All the red-headed Weasleys, Snape and his greasy hair, HUGE and lovable Hagrid, and Dumbledore. Dumbledore was perfection - he was THE MAN! And McGonagall, and Sirius Black, and Dobbie... they were all special to us.

When Becca was 8-ish, she and I started reading them, (and I pronounced Hermione RIGHT this time). She loved the books too, except for the part about Aragog the giant spider. She STILL hides her eyes during that part when we're watching the movie!

And yes, we were that family that went to the midnight book releases, and bought all of the gimmicky stuff like Bernie Botts Every Flavor Beans. And we still watch the HP marathons on Saturdays on the ABC Family Channel. Through the years we've all four read all seven books AT LEAST once and had LOTS of conversations about them. Both of my kids are avid readers, and I believe with all my heart that Harry Potter was the reason for it. I never understood all the controversy that surrounded the books. I know many people felt very strongly that they were inappropriate. All I can say to that is, those people must never have read any of them, for they were truly wonderful stories.

So now the 2nd part of the 7th and final movie awaits. Looming out there for us to go and watch and be done with. We'll go as a family, of course... (even though Ryan couldn't wait and has already watched it once) And as we move on past all the Harry Potter chapters, we would do well to remember what the wisest wizard said... "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities" Thanks for everything, Dumbledore.

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