Harry Potter Saved Me

One of the hardest things I’ve done as a mother is to drop my son off at college his freshmen year.  I was so proud of him.  And he was only going to be a 3+ hour drive away.

I went hysterical.

My husband, who knows me very well plus has a knack for self-preservation, thought this might be rough for me, so he planned for us to drop my son off at SUNY Delhi and then continue on to Niagara Falls.

For all my Canadian peeps…..EVERYONE in the US knows your side is much better, and cleaner, than ours.

I didn’t want my son to see me crying, or depressed, so I was keeping a stiff upper lip as we helped him get acclimated, checked the school out a little and then got out of his way.  He was so excited/nervous, the same way I felt when I first left for college.  He was ready to shoo me away.

He and I are very close and he’s my youngest.  His sisters did not move away and I knew this exciting time for him would be depressing for me.

I was really good until my husband and I got in the car to leave.  Before my husband turned on the car I started sobbing.  I mean sobbing.

Even I knew I was over the top.  Tons of you out there have gone through the same thing.  It’s about a family change.  As our children move to the next stage in life, so do we.  It takes an adjustment.  I was extremely fortunate because I did not have to endure a divorce at the same time, although I’m sure Tim was tempted.

I cried from Delhi, NY to Niagara Falls, Canada.  Tim was Job.  He suggested stopping to eat.  Sob.  Listening to the radio.  Sob.  Eventually he got a lawyer.  I’m kidding.  Finally, I picked up one of the Harry Potter books I had brought with me.  I had already read the first one, because I read it in Spanish, so I really remember that.  I think I brought #2,3,4 with me.

Reading Harry Potter got me through missing my son, staring the new era of our family life in the face, and being on vacation when I just wanted to cry.  It is incredibly embarrassing to think of how much I cried then.  Poor Tim.

We did do fun things in Niagara Falls.  Went to restaurants, took a ton of pictures, took the boat ride under the falls.  We went to gardens and just drove around.  And I cried and read.

We were probably gone a total of 4 days.  We had fun, but I was still really down in the dumps.  What saved me?

Harry Potter.  I finished 3 Harry Potter books in 4 days.  Total escapism.  Little sleep.  By the time we came home I was done with Harry Potter for a while, but was no longer so depressed.

I missed my son incredibly.  And then two weeks later he came home for the weekend to hang out with his friends.  I went hysterical and I was going to see him in two weeks?

Who knew?

Thank you, Harry Potter.

SUNY Delhi

About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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21 Responses to Harry Potter Saved Me

  1. That’s one of the things that makes books so great… they can help you through tough times.

    (For the record, though: I disagree about the Canadian side of Niagara Falls being better. It is certainly wider, but I rather like the less-developed, more natural US side. The Canadian side has too many casinos, lights etc.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bluestempond says:

    You do what you have to do to distract yourself and a really engaging story can take you away from the pain till you are ready to deal with it. It works for me, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love those books and will have to remember to turn to them when my youngest leaves home. I remember reading them to my oldest. Then I read them to my father first AND my mother a few years later as both lost the ability to hold a conversation after Alzheimer’s hit. Tim is great.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    My college son is only 45 minutes away, and it was still hard to drop him off last year when he was a freshman. Not so much because I’d miss him (he drives home every weekend for a job), but because of the change it would bring to our family. But I didn’t cry. Of course, that may change when the youngest goes off in another year. He doesn’t plan to stay close to home. My eyes are already feeling itchy…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Separation anxiety is worse for the moms than for the kids. When I started teaching. I taught kinder. The moms were hanging around for two+hours. The kids were excited about new things. When my daughter was in Junior high, I wanted to walk her to the classroom and stayed around, but she wanted me to drop her her half a block away and walked to class. No matter how old they are, they are still our kids, our babies!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This experience of yours was so fascinating! How Harry Potter can be with you in situations you wouldn’t ever imagine. It’s all about love and hope at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sammy Scoops says:

    I’m really digging your site, and you sound like my mom…makes me feel a little bit more guilty than usual about the whole too cool for school routine I used to pull, and sometimes still do if I’m trying to jerk it up a notch or two.

    (usually just facebook because she went pro at axe murdering my witty posts, not sure what the compensation is though)

    Also, I really like the premise of your blog. I’m a recovering addict, going through his credential year and me and issues of depression and mental health are practically besties. Congrats on celebrating 31 years by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      Thank you and welcome to my blog! I completely relate to all aspects of your post. Although my parents weren’t following me around – they didn’t go to many school activities. But they still managed to embarrass me frequently, lol. I have 3 kids. One daughter hates technology and has never been on social media ( she says she was born in the wrong generation), my other daughter and follow each other but neither of us every comment in any other was but lightly to each other. My son refused to let me go on his facebook account because he had friends whose mothers used to blast them on their page. i would never do that, but some things are personal, if social media can be called personal. Continued luck with your recovery; I’m sure you know to surround yourself with other sober people. And I understand depression and other mental issues. I hope you continue to find posts and discussions here that interest you 🙂

      Like

  8. Yes thank you, Harry Potter. For being with us during the good times, and the bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ann Coleman says:

    Books are a wonderful way to cope when we need a little break from what is going on around us. And Harry Potter was a wise choice!
    And honestly, your reaction may have been a bit strong, but I also think it’s understandable. Seeing your youngest head off to college means that a certain phase of your family life is well and truly over, and it’s natural to grieve for that. Personally, I didn’t feel that so much when my son went to college, but I did feel a certain sadness in the days after his wedding. I was happy for him that he was married, and I loved the woman he married, but his marriage also signaled a permanent end to our little primary family unit of my husband, me, my daughter and my son. And a small part of me grieved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      Oh I’ll be a basketcase then, too, lol. Hopefully I will love his wife, and once he has a child who will be a cousin to my other grandchildren, I will be totally used to the phase of last one to change the family pattern.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. 3rdofthe3rd says:

    My own mother struggled and struggles still with the fact I am over 2 and a half hours drive from her now. Glad you found comfort in Harry Potter.
    Keep Smiling.

    Liked by 1 person

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