I'm sad---because it's over. But happy we (just Brian & I) got to see it, after a very full day.
I came late to the party. Students in Oregon pressed the book into my hands, but, never a fan of fantasy novels, I couldn't stay with it. I saw the first movie on the big screen, and fell asleep during the quidditch scene (granted I was pregnant with Aidan at the time).
Then I had three boys.
Last summer we checked out the first novel and the audio recording from the library. I thought we'd read one each summer for a few years. But Aidan fell under its spell and had read all seven books by October. He and Sean came up with their own Hogwarts menu to celebrate watching the first movie together.
I remember the exact moment I got pulled in, which I also owe greatly to the amazing reading by Jim Dale. Harry and Ron were riding the train to Hogwarts and Draco had just entered, taunting Ron and offering to help Harry pick "the right sort" of friends.
Harry replied: "I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks."
Then, as if Harry Potter had joined our family, suddenly he was everywhere. A's Halloween Costume. Our Lego sets. Santa's Christmas Wii gift. The Dumbledore quote above Aidan's bedroom door. And Sean and I continue reading through the series (albeit at a much slower pace than Aidan) at bedtime.
While the third installment, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban remains my favorite, most of my favorite lines are in the first two books. When Hagrid is astonished that Harry doesn't know his own story (so beautifully explored in this essay/homily by MaryAnne McKibben Dana), and, in Chamber of Secrets, when Dumbledore tells Harry: ""It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
We're still on the fence as to whether Aidan will be allowed to see Deathly Hallows 2 on the big screen. It was scary and violent, and Simone Weil summed up the problem with Paradise Lost as well as Voldemort: “Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.” (ETA: just received a link to Common Sense Media that covers the whole series and their take on age appropriateness. My personal opinion is that no kid should see the opening scene of DH Part 1, but that the rest wasn't bad for 9+).
Some say it's not over; J K Rowling has more in store at Pottermore.
I need only to look across the room to know I'm not really saying goodbye to Harry. I'll get to meet him again in the imagination of these future readers.