Harry Potter and the Deathly-Looking Mom

So I’m looking just a wee bit on the haggared side today. I took Griff and a friend of hers to the Borders Harry Potter release party last night and it ran — *yawn* — just a tad later than my usual bedtime these days. I did get caught up in the excitement and fun of it all, though, and so I was able to avoid snapping anyone’s head off for acting like a freaking IDIOT over a damn BOOK. (I mean seriously, there’s no need to push, shove, or make snotty remarks. We’re all in this together, no? And if you keep being a jackass, I might have to kill you.) No, I remained calm and composed, and you know what? We got our books within a few minutes of midnight, and then we GOT THE HELL OUT OF THERE.

I have to tell you how very cool it is to see all these children desperately clamoring to get their copy of a 759-page book. My daughter’s a voracious reader, so it’s not unusual to see her lugging around some hefty tome. But some of the people with whom we interacted last night? The ones with the hicksville drawl? Reeking of cigarettes? Many of them I never would have suspected of ANY kind of reading, educational, for pleasure, or otherwise. Really — some of those people were clearly from East Yeehaaville. But I’m just tickled freakin’ pink to see them reading something other than National Enquirer.

Anyway, my daughter has her copy, which was one of the first 20 or 30 sold at that store, and she screamed with delight when she got it. On the trip home, the girls used flashlights to read in the back of the car. We dropped off her friend, and then Griff stayed up who-knows-how-late reading (I checked on her at 5 a.m. and found her asleep on top of the book, with the light on). Then she was up bright and early this morning reading some more, taking a break only for a quick bagel for breakfast.

Griff came somewhat late to the Harry Potter party. She was in kindergarten or first grade when the first book came out, and initially I set out to read it to her at bedtime. Her active imagination quickly put that to a stop, as I do not particularly enjoy being awakened in the middle of the night by a terrified, screaming child who’s been having nightmares about Harry Potter bad guys. So, our copies of the HP books languished for a while, and it wasn’t until 5th grade that she decided she was ready to dive in and finally read them, long after many of her friends had. Like everyone else, she was totally drawn in, and quickly plowed her way through the first six books. Then she went back and re-read a couple of her favorites. Ever since, she’s been breathlessly awaiting book seven, even marking its release date on her calendar months ago, and making me promise to take her to the release party.

So last night I filled my parental duty, and took her to get the book that she’s been so desperately waiting for. She even dressed up in a Griffyndor costume, and she took part in the “Snape: Friend or Foe?” debate, the costume contest, and the trivia contest. She and her friend ran around, acted silly, and generally had a fabulous time. Me? I just wanted to find a chair. (At one point, I went and sat in the kids section on a low little bench, with my knees up next to my ears. And at my age, contortions like that have the potential to be fatal. But by that point, I would have happily parked my ass on a bed of nails, if it meant I could take my weight off my feet for a while.)

But now I’ve made my daughter happy, and I get to watch her delight as the final chapters in the Harry Potter saga unfold before her. How cool is that?

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