Welcome to One Busy Momma! The Blog for Busy Moms by one Busy Mom.....

Welcome to my blog. One Busy Momma is my space to rant about my life and the things that happen in it. I have a crazy life - and instead of focusing on the crazy - I like to focus on the funny. Because if I focused on the craziness - well, I'd have been shipped off to an institution long, long ago. And while, I'll admit, there are some days when being institutionalized sounds PRETTY GOOD compared to making ANOTHER diorama at 1am - I'd rather be right where I am - in my messy house with my not so perfect kids making crooked dioramas in the middle of the night.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Boy Who Lived

I am suffering from a Harry Potter hangover. Hermione and I took the girls to see the final installment of the Harry Potter movies last night - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Or, as Bella calls it: HP 7.  Now, Hermione and I have been going to these movies together ever since they started making them. We've seen each movie within 48 hours of its premiere...with the exception of one. Hermione was sick the year Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire came out, and we missed it and had to wait for the DVD. I couldn't possible go and see it WITHOUT her - so I waited until we could see it together. Yes, I am THAT loyal.

I am a HUGE Potter fan - a fanatic if you will. I didn't start off this way. I actually HAD to read the first book for work. We were thinking of using it in as part of a  marketing package for a company I used to work for, but before I included it, I figured I should actually read it and see what this Harry Potter thing was all about. So, while waiting for a delayed flight out of Chicago one summer evening, I wandered into the airport bookstore and picked up a copy of the book that would change my life.

Dramatic? Perhaps - just a smidge. But something about Harry Potter really did change me. I have never been a "fan" of anything like this before. I've never been into the magical world - could never get into Tolkien or understand why people would go ga-ga over a tv show like Star Trek or god forbid, get dressed up like a character for a movie premiere. But all of a sudden, by opening a book, I was swept into a world beyond my wildest imaginings. Rowling used words to build the school of my dreams as she wove her tale about a great hall with an enchanted ceiling and four different houses steeped in history and mystery. She created a boy who had the odds stacked against him, who seemed to face insurmountable obstacle after obstacle, but always managed to succeed with the help of his friends. She captured the very essence of a hero in a very ordinary boy and his very loyal friends. Reading that first book was as close to a "magical" experience that I'd ever come to. When I closed the cover of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" that same night, I was hooked. The second book had just hit the shelves and I was out first thing in the morning to buy it. I was the lunatic who pre-ordered the rest of the books and had them delivered specially on Saturday morning. By the time this last book hit the shelves, Fifi and I were standing in line, at Barnes and Noble when it opened, getting wristbands that would allow us to enter the store after it closed so that we could get a copy of the book at midnight. Fifi read the book - OUT LOUD - as I drove us home that night. And we both stayed up reading all night long so that we wouldn't get ahead of each other. 

So what is it about "the boy who lived" that engenders such fierce loyalty among millions of readers around the world? Speaking as a writer, and I use that term VERY loosely, Rowling is just breath-takingly brilliant. To be able to create an entire world, a world with it's own language and creatures,customs and history with words that paint crystal-clear pictures in your mind is a skill that very few possess.  Her ability to mix frightening story lines with humor and age-old themes of loyalty, friendship, growing-up, betrayal and human failing in a fresh manner is what makes her a story teller extraordinairre.

As a reader, I know the characters are what keep me coming back for more. Rowling manages to introduce new characters in each book that even us Muggles can relate to. Who doesn't love Luna Lovegood - even if you do think she's a bit looney at times. And who can't relate to Neville Longbottom? The bumbling foolish boy who comes into his own in this last book and winds up saving the day? Haven't we all been Luna or Neville at one time or another? And come on - admit it: who amongst us wouldn't LOVE to be Bellatrix LeStrange...just for one day? I think the essence of the success of the series is a very simple premise: the power of friendship. Harry Potter is the luckiest kid in the world. At the outset of the series, he's an orphan, living with people who despise him and treat him terribly. He lives in a cupboard under the stairs, has nothing and no one. At the end - he has legions of friends willing to die for him. If that is not good fortune - I don't know what is.

Hermione predicted that I'd be crying at the end of the movie simply because it was all over. And she was correct - I was! It was such a beautiful way to end a beautiful, perfect story. I remember reading the final book, being torn between plowing through the pages to see WHAT WOULD HAPPEN and savoring every morsel because this was it - there would be no more books after this one. What a gift Rowling gave us! What a legacy she leaves. I hope that our grandchildren enjoy getting to know Harry, Ron and Hermione as much as we did.


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