It has been much too long between posts; my desire to post weekly has been raging a war with my doubt that I have anything to write that people will be interested in reading. Not fishing for compliments, merely letting you know where my head has been.
Sunday was the 20th anniversary of the publishing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, probably one of the most influential novels in my life, and my kids’ lives. Because, you see, I have always longed to be magical. In fact, longing isn’t even a strong enough word for my desire to have magic inside of me, for my use, to change the world around me, and do my bidding. Before this gets to sounding any more megalomaniacal, I swear I would only use it for good, unlike the Marauder’s Map, which will only show itself by tapping on it with your wand and intoning “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.”
But ever since I was little, I wanted to be Samantha from Bewitched, able to twitch my nose and have time stand still, or Mary Poppins, with her “Spit Spot!” and my room straighten itself. I go to Scarborough Faire almost every year to see the cosplay fairies and witches. I insisted my daughter have a fairy themed birthday party. In fact, for years in my head, I was an elf living in Elrond’s Last Homely House in Rivendell, a legend in my own mind (though my brother claims I am more like Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings movie, quick to see the power of owning the ring, and all she could accomplish, with the desire to do good, but ultimately corrupted if she accepted it)(I have no idea why he thought the comparison was accurate).
Georgetown, Texas, hosted a publishing party for each of the rest of the books in the series, and, since my mom lived there, we went to several of them. The entire downtown square converted to Diagon Alley; even the bank converted to Gringott’s for the night. Wands were available to purchase, butter beer served, and many very cute little Harry Potters ran around, their lightening scars getting smudged in the Texas heat, their tiny voices trying to transmogrify their siblings into rats. We would buy the newest book, and my son and daughter would fight over who got to read it first – we had to alternate every book. As a grown up, I would wait until after their bedtime and devour the book, reading it the first time as fast as I could, knowing that I would read it again and again in the future, loving it anew each time.
One memorable evening, the year it was my daughter’s turn to read the book first, she was lying on the couch at my mom’s house, and suddenly burst into tears. When asked what was wrong, she cried “Dumbledore died!” To this day, and he is now 23, my son resents her for the spoiler. In fact, in a text this week about the anniversary, he wrote,”I do remember that. I also remember grace ruining dumbledore’s death for everyone involved, NEVER FORGET.” I’m still a little miffed about it, too, to be honest. And I still cry every time I read about it.
I was going to end this post with the usual blah blah blah, “the truth is, I’ll never be magic,” but I can’t, because I don’t believe that. I still believe that at some point in my life, I will be able to swish and flick, intone “Wingardiam Leviooosa,” and levitate the the cat off of my lap. Or “Accio!” to bring the wine bottle to me, to refill my glass (one of the more useful spells). And I will always believe.