On Saturday night/Sunday morning, there were book release parties all over the world for J.K. Rowling’s last ever (she pinky swears this time) Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Not the last wizarding book, most likely, but the last one with Harry, Ron and Hermione; technically, not even written by Rowling herself. It’s a play, written by Jack Thorne based on a story by Rowling, Thorne and John Tiffany. But a Harry Potter story just the same. Since A had never been to a book release party – or any midnight event, for that matter – we decided to go.
It was at one of her favorite bookstores nearby. There were a LOT of people there. Mostly young people, a lot of teenagers by themselves, and some older parents like myself. Some of us didn’t even work there. It was a party mixed in with the waiting to buy the book. There were trivia contests, coloring stations, a wand-making craft project, and a costume contest. The costumes were pretty good. Mr. Quidditch Player and the Mandrake Baby were amazing and won a well-deserved first prize. Draco, Ron and Tonks were pretty impressive too.
I caught up with A after one of the trivia contests. She’d met some new people and wanted to hang out with them. That was a tough decision, but I let her visit with her new friends and trusted that everything would be okay. I saw her again, about an hour or so later, with her new friends waiting in line to buy the book. They seemed pretty good, a couple of fellow book nerds around her age. They were talking about school, how excited they were to read the book, whether or not they’d be able to read a play, why wasn’t the line moving faster – the usual things. The line crawled along.
Finally we got to the front, picked up her book, and left. When we got out, one of A’s new friends was waiting for his ride home. We waited with him outside in the not-so-cool dark. There were a lot of people who had just met at the event as well. Several groups were walking outside saying, “It was so nice to meet you!”, exchanging Snapchats and Twitter handles, walking out to their cars. A and Nerd Guy (not a slam in our house, by the way) exchanged Snapchats and talked about how long it would take them to get through the book if they started as soon as they got home. His ride came, we all said goodnight, and we headed for our ride home.
A does a lot more things on her own now. She’s a teenager, and she’s earned a little lighter leash on her activities. It’s hard to see her go, and more than a little frightening, but it’s time to let her go. Not all at once, but a little at a time.