The LOTR Movie Site
August 21, 2000

Raising a Second Generation Hobbit
Janine C.

Around the age of 12, I was given my first copy of The Trilogy in a nice boxed set. It stood on the bookshelf in my room for the next two years, until I was uprooted to a new environment.

My family had moved 800 miles to a new state, in a city where I didn't have any other family or friends. I was a usually outgoing person, who never really had trouble making new friends, but this is an entirely new situation. Things didn't come as easily for me (to begin with). That was when I finally broke the plastic wrap on the books and found myself immersed in the beautiful land of Middle Earth.

I would venture to guess that I read, and re-read those books for the whole summer (probably three times each). My mother caught me play acting some of the roles of the characters (Frodo being my favorite). After that, I started collecting other books about Middle Earth (Companions, Encyclopedias, Atlases, Song books, you name it). I went so far as to dress up like Frodo in the Bakshi films for Halloween.

I believe that my mom was about at the end of her rope, and couldn't wait until I started school in the fall. She had hoped that it would bring me back to "THIS EARTH", as she called it. Boy, was she wrong.

While we were standing in line to buy text books for the year, a cute guy who was standing in line in front of us turned around to talk. The first words out of his mouth were "Have you ever read Tolkien?" Needless to say, we spent the duration deep in conversation, and time lost all meaning. As it turned out, I met the boy again and found out that we had several classes together.

As the year progressed, we both deciphered the Tengwar and Dwarf Runes. In order to foil the attempts of the Nuns at Catholic school, we started passing notes in class in Elvish. I'm sure that they thought that it was some type of Satanic ritual scribbling, and I'll never forget the look on Sr. Miriam Ann's face when she intercepted one of them.

During that year, we found several others that shared our (shall we now call it an obsession?). We founded a club that had about 14 people. All of whom adopted a name of a character in the book. I assumed Frodo, and my cohort assumed Gandalf. We all had a great time, and had several parties.

One of the best parties that comes to mind was one I held on September 22nd, in honor of Frodo and Bilbo's birthday. As a game, I had a contest for people to roll mushrooms across the lawn with their noses (an idea that I got out of one of the fan magazine that I had subscribed to). However, I forgot to police the front lawn, and a couple of people found a mess along their way to the other side of the lawn.  That ended the game rather quickly, and I found myself with several large mushrooms shoved down my back and in my face.

Time marched on, and it ended up being a very brief stay in our new home. We were going to move back to our original state before the end of the school year. I was happy to be going back to familiar surroundings, but I was crushed that I would have to leave the new friends that I had made.

My friend and I vowed to remain in contact, and since the actual year book had not been published yet, I used a Tolkien Notebook, published by Bywater Press to have everyone sign in.

The years went by. Every other year, my friend would spend his summer vacations with my family. On opposite years, I would go to his family's home. We also kept in contact with at least 3 or 4 other companions, but not as closely.

To make an already long story shorter, 10 years later we were engaged to be married. Through that one common thread, we found that we had several others. No matter who we dated, or what we did, we always came back to each other and wondered why we couldn't find another.

This year, we will be celebrating our 11 year anniversary. We now have two wonderful children (ages 4 and 2). When I heard that these new movies were coming out, I decided to haul out all of my old lore and dust it off. We started reading "The Hobbit" to the four year old (as intended: a bed time story).

Last week, my 4 year old went skipping up to my mother and happily said, "Nana - Do you know what Hobbits are???". I could only laugh long and loud at the face that my mom made. She put her head in her hand and sighed, "Oh no! Not that again!"