A Family Outing

We had been planning this trip for weeks. Correction: R (12) had been planning this trip for weeks, to celebrate the only 12 hour period all six of us are together over two months of summer. Hunched over the computer and armed with goodness knows whose credit card, she had successfully booked tickets for HP and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Or whatever it is called. I get easily confused.

And what better way to acknowledge the passage of time and growing independence with four who are truly of the Harry Potter generation? S (20) had an early edition of the first book, but sadly not quite early enough to benefit any of us financially. Probably no bad thing, since it is in pieces now after countless re-readings by all four of them.

Then there was the memorable occasion when book 4(?) came out whilst we were on holiday and we secured at some ridiculous premium probably the only copy in Western France in a remote Loire village bookshop. Only on condition the reading order was settled beforehand.

There is something quite joyous though about a family outing of young adults and nearly young adults with parents in tow to see the last film in a series which has played such a major part of childhood culture for their generation.

A generational reversal of the sort which presages old age in a troubling way found J (18) and I (16) pestered by their father with annoying and irrelevant questions throughout the film. Luckily he didn’t have to be taken outside.

I was much better behaved, having read at least half the books and being generally more adept at coping with films where I struggle with the story. I also half remembered part 1, though I do think background revision beforehand might have been a good idea.

I must say that I quite enjoyed it all. The later films have got rather better than the earlier ones, and the special effects are admirable. But the best bit of all was the post-film dissection all the way home. From debating the moral justification for denouncing the whole of Slytherin on account of the sins of the few (apparently not quite like that in the book), through to a novel and entertaining thesis on HP’s paternity (much derided by the in-house experts), we passionately argued and debated a whole heap of trivial and irrelevant issues.

They just don’t get why we don’t get stuff. It wasn’t helped by (the older) R referring to Severin House (an easy and understandable mistake, I felt, in a burst of solidarity and empathy). But I realise the cultural references of the whole Harry Potter phenomenon have marked and are ingrained in them in a way which defines their generation as much as their use of social media.

Maybe now is the time to get around to finishing reading the rest of the series.

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One response to A Family Outing

  1. Last summer two of my young grandsons became old enough to read Harry Potter on their own. We secured all the books, then the youngest grandson read the first one. When he was done, it went to the older grandson, then to me, then to my husband. When husband was done each of the books, we talked about what we read, and watched the movie of that book. It was a fun summer!

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