None of what you read here today is new information. But I had a beautiful moment this past week, and I would like to share it with you.
Many of you know that I am a Middle School music teacher as well as an author. One of the things I enjoy most about being a music teacher is that I can have meaningful discussions with my students about the music that accompanies films. And when those films are based on literary works, well, I just love that part of my job even more. Our most recent discussion: The music from the Harry Potter movies.
This discussion afforded me the opportunity to revisit those wonderful stories by J.K. Rowling, bringing back memories of my son, aged five at the time, being handed a set of the books by my grandmother. All of the books hadn’t been written yet, but we had perhaps the first five books in the collection. I began reading them to my son, with the plan of seeing the first movie together at the theater.
I had almost forgotten the impact of those stories on our family. The way J.K. Rowling weaves the tale so completely, creating a multi-faceted, multi-layered world that so many of us wished was real. Her characters became household names which we felt a full range of emotions for, from love, to empathy, to fear, to sheer hatred. Rowling’s world of Harry Potter became an extension of our own, a fantasy we got to live out with her, if only for a short while.
The books that my grandmother had gifted to my son came at a perfect time. Reading them and watching the films spanned a decade our lives. The highs, the lows, the miracles, the magic. We didn’t know it, but we needed it, and when we discovered it, we ran with it.
I waited in line for Deathly Hallows, which arrived in our local Border’s when my son was nine and my daughter was seven-months old.
And I cried when it was over. I cried because of how beautifully she wrapped up the story. I cried because there would be no more; nothing new to look forward to.
But this week it hit me: It isn’t over.
To be able to revisit these old friends is a gift that storyteller’s give to their readers. I thank J.K. Rowling for being that storyteller for my family. The Harry Potter series became a part of the lives of so many kids, of which my son was one. Because he was the age he was when we began the journey of Harry Potter together, he got to grow alongside Harry, Ron, and Hermione, as they grew up in Hogwarts.
And I got to go through it with him. Another gift to be thankful for.
Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for your wondrous gift to my family and the world.