Monday, July 11, 2011

Goodbye To The Boy Who Lived and Happy Birthday To The Boy Who Grew

In July of 1997 my son was born. Later that summer, in September, the phenomenon known as Harry Potter was born with the release of the book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I’ve been an avid reader of the series since it’s release. When Aidan was old enough to understand I read him the books, at a certain point he started reading them to me. He has finished the series next to me on the couch, both of us books in hand; scared to keep reading, sad to see it end, unable to put it down.

The movie premier dates are always around either Aidan’s birthday, July 12 or my mom’s birthday, November 15th. The series is the only thing (to my knowledge) that my mom has ever taken the time to read. It’s a nice little generational bond we share. We do every premier, the three of us, popcorn in hand usually for either her birthday or his.

Tomorrow my eldest child turns 14. For some reason, something is more emotional this time, the year? The number? Harry? I don’t know, but I keep tearing up every time I think of it.

On Friday, at midnight, my mom, my son and myself will head for the movies one last time, popcorn in hand, to say goodbye to Harry. The boy who lived is all grown up. Maybe that’s what is so emotional this time. Somehow, Aidan and Harry’s childhoods are all wrapped up together for me. I see Aidan every day and sometimes I’m taken off guard by how much he has changed, sometimes, but not always. One of the great illustrators of Aidan’s change is Harry’s. Looking back to the first film, Harry, Ron and Hermione were babies, so was Aidan. Friday at midnight we will be saying goodbye to young people on the verge of adulthood. While I’m not naive enough to think 14 is the verge of adulthood, I’m stunned by how fast the years have gone by and how fast my tiny, premature baby has grown up.  Harry is the boy who lived, Aidan is the boy who grew.

Aidan has passed me in height, in character and in humor, he has less than 3 inches to catch his dad. His voice is changing, his shoulders are broadening, he is growing up, before my very eyes. As far as teenagers go, I’m lucky. Very lucky. Aidan still likes me, still wants to occasionally hang out with me, even kisses me in public places. I know the day is coming fast when I will be the last person he wants to hang out with. So, for now, I’m going to get in line, get my popcorn, say happy birthday to my kid and goodbye to our friend Harry. Aidan is 14, I have lots to look forward to; it’s like a book I’m scared to keep reading, sad to see end and unable to put down. Happy Birthday Aidan, I love you.


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