I can hardly believe that it's here. I can hardly believe that tonight, I'll be driving to the movie theatre and settling down to wait in the dark for the final installment of Harry Potter - the end of the thing that has defined our generation.
We get called the iGeneration, the kids who grew up with the internet, the last ones who will remember a life without Google. But over the past week, I have read so many blogs and seen so many posts from people who grew up with Harry, who began their journey with him in elementary school and are now graduating high school and college, who are taking a step into the adult world. For so many of us, it seems like tonight's film marks the closing of our childhoods.
The most magical thing about Harry Potter, though, is not the books, which have so much that delighted me and a great deal that irritated me. It's not the films, which for me have gotten to be enjoyable only recently. It's the fact that all of us have come together out of love for these stories, that we have made them our own. There are people all over the world who love Harry Potter, and that is not going to go away simply because there will be no more new books or movies. The story is ours now, and as such a huge part of so many of our childhoods, it is something I doubt we would leave behind lightly.
As J. K. Rowling says, "Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home."