I remember falling in love with a boy who wore glasses.
I remember where I was and when it was. How amazing is that?
Since I have always had a deep and vehement hate of math – I decided that would be a good time to start the book.
It was seventh grade, and I was sitting in math class. Coming in the door I sat in the middle of the back row on the left side of the classroom and there was a window right behind me. Seventh grade was a hard year for me, I was changing faster than I could keep up with. I didn’t feel twelve. I didn’t feel like a kid, I didn’t feel like a teenager. I felt… confused a good chunk of the time.
It was fall of 1999 and I had gotten this book from my grandmother the Christmas before, but I had yet to look at it or read it. She swore up and down that she had only heard good reviews of it, and from everything that she had heard that it would be a book that I would love.
I was doubtful of that. True, she knew my taste in books well; for they were very similar to her own, but I was still hesitant. Buying and selecting books is a very personal thing. I had gone through all of my books that I knew I loved, and I wanted to try something different. So that day I picked up that book and I stuck it in my backpack to read at school.
It wasn’t until my second period math class that I had a chance to open it and start reading. The teacher told us to get out our books, and what we would be going over – and since I have always had a deep and vehement hate of math – I decided that would be a good time to start the book. I sat there, with the sun coming in from the window behind me, the teacher talking some gibberish, pencils scratching around me and I read…
“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number 4, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.“
And I never looked back.
I don’t think I paid attention to a single class that day or talked to anyone at lunch. I was sucked in and so in love with this new world that I couldn’t be bothered with the details of this one.
They were me. They were my age, growing as I grew.
I remember being so relieved when I found out that book two had been released just a few months before. I wouldn’t have to wait for it. From then until July 2007 I played a long game of hurry up and wait. I would get the new books and hungrily read through them in one or two days and then have to wait and wait endlessly for the next. I remember feeling so sad when I was half way done with the seventh book and it dawned on me, “This is it. There are no more.”
The movies were exciting too, of course. But the movies never held that same spark and love for me. I do love them, and I gladly sit and have Harry Potter movie marathons. But the books hold this special, dear part of me.
Many teens and kids today who love Harry Potter just don’t quite understand that. They had this magic and wonder in their lives for almost the whole of them. Me? Magic entered my life at the same time that it entered Harry’s.
It was something wholly new and these kids who had to deal with it and experience it – they were me. They were my age, growing as I grew.
My children have had their whole lives filled with the magic Rowling created
Their stories were always new, I hadn’t grown up hearing them, or watching the movies. There was no one I knew who even read the books until after the first movie came out. It was this special world of magic, that was just for me. Each time I read those books I went to a whole new world that no one I knew had ever experienced or dreamed. Kids and teens today, they can’t get that from Harry Potter, not like I did.
You know what though? Just because my own children won’t get to experience Harry Potter the way that I did won’t keep me from introducing it to them. They have had their whole lives filled with the magic Rowling created – from rainy day movie marathons to having the books read to them. Now, as they are getting older, they are finally getting to fully immerse themselves in the books like I have. We get to talk about the differences between the movies and the books. We debate our favorite characters (my daughter is #teammalfoy much to my chargin).
The books and movies have also led to deeper, meaningful discussions about things like slavery, discrimination, segregation, depression and how the government is only as good and trustworthy as those in power in it. Harry Potter has become as big a part in their lives as it has my own. When you have teenagers and tweens that connection and bond is a simple and huge magic of its own.
I remember falling in love with a boy who wore glasses. I was twelve and sitting in the sun in the back of class and not learning a whit about math that day.
Originally seen on Trish’s blog- Monsters and Tutus