Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Me My Mom and Harry Potter Part 2

I loved this poster!
It is time for part 2 of the story that I started almost a year ago.  If you haven't read part 1, or need a reminder click here.

When I first heard about the Harry Potter books I was a bit snobbish.  It wasn't until a woman that I highly admire told me how excited she was for the next book to come out that I finally decided to give it a try.  To say that I was hooked instantly would be an understatement.  I wasn't only interested in the story but also in the idea of it all.  I've always loved fantasy and mythical ideas.

As I mentioned last time my mom and I didn't share many interests while I was growing up.  Back then she wasn't much of a reader, mostly because I think that she was wound a bit tight worrying about all of her kids that she was raising.  The idea of recommending her a book then would have been downright bizarre.  She also wasn't a big fan of strange movies where something abnormal happened.  But somehow she ended up watching one of the Harry Potter movies, much to my surprise.  I can't remember when she saw it for the first time or why she even tried it.  It really wasn't her kind of thing to get into.  She loved watching them and talking about the movies with me.  She knew that she'd missed a lot of the story by not reading the books but at that time she wasn't very interest in the large tomes that sat on my shelves.

By the time that the fifth movie was coming out my mom had seen every one, making a point of going to the new Harry Potter movies in theater and dragging my dad along with her when I lived too far away to go with her.

Of course fans of the series will know that by the sixth movie you hadn't read the books then it was pretty easy to end up lost.  There was just too much to then try and fit into the movies.  I finally called my mom and told her that she shouldn't go see the new movie, she wouldn't understand most of it.  Always the trusting woman she took my advice, I'd had to explain so much of the last one to her that she agreed with me and didn't go, even though it seemed a bit sad to be missing out. 

By this time I was urging her to read the books.  Her life had calmed down a bit with all of the kids moved out and hearing that she'd finished a book in less than a month was no longer a shock to me.  She'd never read anything with fantasy, mythology, or magical undertones but her interest in the movies led me to believe that she'd like the books if she just gave them a chance.  My urgings never worked and the books that I left at her house remained untouched for a couple of years.

Fall of 2010 I decided to re-read the entire series, getting ready for the final movie to be released in two parts.  I'm not really sure how I did it but I convinced my mom to read them with me.  I tried to keep my pace slow so that during our weekly phone conversations I'd remember what she had just read and explain to her things that she might not have understood the first time that she read it.  Before I quite knew what was happening she was calling me up and asking me questions or telling me her newest theories about how the story would end.  Somehow despite all of the hype over the books and movies my mom didn't hear almost any of the big spoilers at the end and she got to read and find out about them for herself even though it was years after the rest of the world knew.

It took months for her to get through the books but by the time that the final half of the last movie was coming out she had finished them all.  There was even a month or two between when she finished the books and when the final movie came out.  My mom was extremely impatient for the movie and wondered at how all of us fans had such patience to wait so long for the films.  I told her that we didn't really have a choice.  She considered taking a plane trip to Maine just to watch the movie with me but finally hauled my dad to the movie with her in Idaho and proudly let him know that he should now read the books.

I was an odd child for my rather practical parents who to this day still don't know what I mean when I debate how Gandolf would fair against Merlin in a battle to the death.  So for me and my mom Harry Potter was something of a middle ground that we could share and find a new connection that we never thought we had.

Since then I've recommended a few other books and have been surprised at how much she reads with her new ipad.  She has read her first light romance novel and loved it.  This summer I'm having her dive back into the world of fantasy, this time with Tolkien's The Hobbit.  This time my dad, who read the story once a long time ago, is willing to join the two of us in our over the phone book club.

Happy Reading to all!  I hope you enjoyed a great Mother's Day!


  1. I always knew we had common ground, I just didn't realize how much!

  2. So who do you think would between Gandolf and Merlin or Dumbledore for that matter? I have to say my money would be on Gandalf

  3. I'll never forget a young boy from Texas who was up to visit his grandparents one summer. The boy told me that he wanted to write books like J.K. Rowling. I asked him if he had ever read any of her books. He told me "no", but he had seen the Harry Potter movies. There's a difference between seeing a moving and reading a book, and an even bigger difference between watching a movie and writing a book. That's why J.K. Rowling is wealthy and infamous, and our friend from Texas is struggling in high school English.

  4. Randy-I am a huge fan of all three but given the shaky moral codes of Merlin I'd put the win in his category. I think that Gandalf and Dumbledore are too nice to do some of the dirty tricks that I could see Merlin pulling!

  5. Steve-You are so right! I've met FAR too many of those people in the past few years.