…or so says the tagline to the latest and final (sniff, sniff) movie, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (which releases today), based upon the epic book series by J. K. Rowling. Unless, of course, we are mistaken about that because they found a way to cast a Confundus Charm over the entire world… now wouldn’t that be something?
I have always been extremely affected by books and movies and television, so it is natural that their conclusions would move me monumentally as well. I know that they are manufactured, but they could be real – good fiction is always based in reality – and regardless, through reading about or watching them, they have allowed me to be a part of their life lessons.
I learned about the joy of realizing your true calling from Sam Malone (“Boy, I’ll tell ya… I’m the luckiest son-of-a-bitch on Earth,” as he shuts off the lights in the bar) and the meaning of life according to Cliff Clavin (“comfortable shoes”) and Carla Tortelli (“having children”) during the final episode of Cheers. I learned about letting true friends know that they will remain in your heart even when you follow different paths in life (the “GOODBYE” stones that Hunnicutt left for Pierce to see as he flew off in the chopper in the M*A*S*H finale).
I learned from Frodo and Sam in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King that you sometimes can but you can’t always go home again, for when they returned to the Shire – free of their youthful innocence and ignorance – it was a very different place than the one they had left. I learned that war can be necessary even though it ends childhood and tears friends and families apart, and that power will corrupt almost everyone, from The Hunger Games trilogy.
I was reminded that relationships are complicated and the “right” guy is determined by the beholder (Team Kellan!, I mean Team Sheepdog!) and that everybody comes with a list of pros and cons from the Twilight books. And Friday Night Lights’ Coach Eric Taylor and his football motto “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!” couldn’t show me any more simply that winning is not the true indicator for success, and that family should always come first. The Cosby Show taught me that families should dance together often, preferably to cool jazz music.
And perhaps most importantly I learned from the conclusion of Zoey 101 that sometimes 16-year-old girls get pregnant and it is incredibly important to be a good parent to your teenager and talk to them about sex and responsibility and how bad choices can end your career before it really even begins (empathetic shiver! for both of the Spears girls).
I am smarter than all of you. Oh, and my parents are dentists.
So it is actually Thursday night and Kid A is leaving now dressed as Hermione to attend the midnight-ish viewing of the last Harry Potter film with her friends. Kid B was so excited that she made wands for them out of actual trees for Kid A and her friends so they could use them when they dressed up for the premiere (I am telling you that these kids are B.O.R.E.D.).
Sheepdog, Kid B and I are looking forward to a Sunday afternoon IMAX showing of the movie, where I hope to be as moved as I have in the past by the creativity of those who write and make these incredible stories. The Harry Potter books speak of unconditional love and selflessness as the ultimate weapons against evil. I think that they are pretty good at warding off the everyday icky as well, so I’m going to stick with them.
After Sunday I will say, “Nox!” to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, so I can make room in my heart for new, even more imaginative tales and more importantly, the lessons that I can learn from them. And so the end is actually the beginning.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…
From L to R, the wands of Cho Chang, Padma Patil, Hermione Granger and Harry Potter (made by Kid B)