A long time ago there was a little girl who got very into Harry Potter. She read the first book when it came out. She would have been in 2nd, perhaps 3rd grade. There was a huge backlash about the book. People were outraged about the fact that children were being taught to be witches. Her Sunday School teacher actually told her class that anyone who read Harry Potter was going to hell. I was surprised at how angry Tim was about that. He had grown up in a church that preached hellfire and damnation, and he refused to be part of a church that would frighten a kid by telling her she was going to hell. We left the church over it.
Given all the controversy, I thought it was a good idea for me to read the book. I skimmed through it, found nothing objectionable about it at all. I thought that the reading material was above Cara's reading level. It was a classic good against evil...and in the end, that good triumphed over evil. As far as the magic, well, I found it no more objectionable than the Narnia tales or the Wizard of Oz. It was a story.
So Cara read the first book, and was well and truly hooked. She and her friend waited for the second book. It was so hyped that the book store (yep...in those days our mall had a book store) had a midnight opening to distribute the book. I drove Cara and her friend Sarah to the book store, and they bought their books and then sat up all night to read them.
They were just as thrilled by The Chamber of Secrets as they were with The Sorcerer's Stone.
Every new book release was very exciting. Sarah would come and spend the night. The girls graduated to costumes. Cara had a collection of Harry Potter shirts, and Harry Potter figurines They had Harry Potter parties.
Then the movies started to come out. They were always midnight viewings. I went with them. I don't ever think that I actually stayed awake for one. Sarah and Cara found this hilarious, and when the lights came up, they'd wake me up and I'd drive us all home.
As the books were released, it was interesting to note that Harry was growing up just as the girls did. By the time the final book and the last couple movies were released, Cara was driving Sarah and the rest of the gang down off the hill to the theater to watch Harry and his gang defeat the powers of darkness.
They've all grown up now, those kids. One's a doctor. Sarah is a teacher. There's a nurse. One works with animals at a city zoo. Cara's gone all over the world on her degrees, and now she is a wife. Not a witch or warlock among them.
Last week we were sorting through some things and we discovered a stash of Harry Potter t-shirts. William was very excited by them. I happened to be talking with Cara on the phone and she immediately said that William could have them.
23 years ago, I read the first Harry Potter book and to be honest I remember very little about it. I didn't read the others...just sort of skimmed through to make sure there was nothing that needed discussing. Now my grandson and I are reading that first book together. He's just as enthralled as she was all those years ago. It makes me smile to watch him hearing it all for the first time.
Perhaps there's a spell...I don't know, but just seems like some sort of magic that makes years fly by in the blink of an eye. Some trick that makes something old seem new again. Some kind of sorcery that transports you from the couch in a comfortable living room to an old torch lit castle.