One of the great things about 'Harry Potter' is that anyone who has either read the books, seen the movies, or both, have very fond memories of the series. Myself included.
I can thank my mom for my love of the series and the universe I found myself growing up in. She loved the books since the beginning and instilled that love in my siblings and I. My mom read the first two books to my siblings and I every night before bed. She was a firm believer in reading the books before seeing the movies, so every time we all finished a book, we watched the movie.
It was my first real exposure to the books differing from the movies. I found myself pointing out the differences while my mother looked on fondly. It was her who got me hooked on larger chapter books and started me on a path that I haven't strayed from. From the moment my mom read us the first lines of the first book, I was hooked.
I don't remember how old I was when she began reading the books to us, but I do remember itching to read them on my own. Once we made it to the 3rd book, I asked to read it on my own. My mom of course let me with the stipulation of giving up the books at night so she could read to my siblings. I was more than happy to, even joining every night to listen again. Every once in a while, at my request, my mom let me read a page or two. I wasn't as fast or as good as my mom, but it didn't matter. I was reading a series I was quickly falling in love with. I was growing up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. It was my whole childhood.
I've been reflecting on this series because it was September 1st last Friday. For those of you who don't remember what that day means in the series, it's the day the students of Hogwarts return to school. This year in particular is especially significant.
It is officially 19 years after the final battle. It's the day (spoiler alert) the Golden trio (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) are sending their children to Hogwarts. Albus Potter was sent off by his parents to school. It is the official end of the book canon (not including the play). The seven book's timeline officially ended last Friday.
The significance of the day was enough to make me reminisce back on my own childhood. Between watching the movies and reading the books with my family. From the time I went with my mom to get the 7th book from a bookstore 40 minutes from my house when it was released at midnight. Or the time my two best friends and I skipped junior prom to have a 'Harry Potter' marathon complete with wand battles and chocolate frogs. Or on our senior trip when we made a stop at Universal Studios and went to the 'Wizarding World of Harry Potter'. Or when I was in London for a month and found myself at King's Cross, standing in line for a picture at platform 9 and 3/4.
'Harry Potter' has been a huge part of my life for so long, and will continue to be so for years to come. It is this love of the series and it's constant presence in my life that I hope to someday pass on to my own children. I hope to take a page out of my mom's book (pun kind of intended) and read the series to my children someday.
This series has made a huge impact on my life and I couldn't be more grateful.
So as I come to terms with the end of book canon and reflect on all this series has done for me, I shed a tear for all that has come to pass and smile for all that is yet to come.
Because when I share these memories with my children and they ask me "After all this time?"
I'll respond, "Always".