The official countdown started a few weeks ago.
We were exactly 507 hours, two minutes, and thirty-three seconds away from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I coming to “theaters everywhere” when the true mania set in.
Our household reads the books. Watches the movies. Wears the costumes. Walks around quoting the advice of the late, great Albus Dumbledore in earnest.
And, we follow it.
“It would be fun to see the premiere at midnight,” my daughter tentatively offered one evening. In this case, “fun” was an understatement akin to Monica Lewinsky saying that she sometimes got a little behind on her laundry.
Yes, this request was no surprise.
However, due to myriad issues both real (so the parents say) and imagined (so the daughter says), we decided it wouldn’t be a good idea to be out until 3:00am on a school/work night. When my daughter found out that she had a test first thing the next morning, well…,even she (begrudgingly) granted that it might not be the best decision to take an exam while feeling like the walking dead.
She’ll have plenty of time to prove that theory when she goes to college.
We compromised by having a Harry-Potter-weekend sleepover with four extremely giddy and vocal teenage girls. We were “agreed,” and supposedly “cool.” And, yet, we were not. Not completely.
On Thursday night, hours before the premiere, I saw my daughter scribbling and doodling and writing in the margins of her papers with an unusually heavy hand. This power-doodling has often appeared in some of the less joyous moments of her early teen life. The happy writing is saved for actual notebooks.
Whenever I see her angst-filled squiggles, it reminds me of an ad that used to appear in our city’s newspaper when Books was given its own section, and not just four inches on one page.
“Writer’s/Writing Therapist” was all it said, along with a contact number.
I often laughed about that ad — about the slash, and whether this writing therapist counseled on a leather couch, or a large-screen laptop.
I don’t doubt the validity of writing as a healing art. Journaling is thought to be therapeutic — especially for those who have gone through traumatic experiences in their lives. In truth, it can be helpful for anyone who wants to clear their heads, organize their thoughts, or simply take a moment to de-stress.
Yet, I never thought to call this writer’s therapist, except to possibly interview her for an article. I didn’t need counseling. Nope.
But, at 11:50pm on Harry Potter’s Eve, I found myself thinking about Harry. And, about disappointment. I thought about parenting, and making decisions, and finding balance. I thought about the future.
And, then I started to write.
It occurred to me that I was already in counseling: Can’t sleep? Write. Feel better. I’m my own best therapist, and the bill is cheap.
And, at 12:01 a.m. on Potter Friday, I was awake writing this post.
We’ll be at the midnight premiere of Part II this summer…
*Find me on Twitter @amandahoving