This date has been circled on the calendar for well over a month. The anticipation has been building for weeks. Each night before bed, and every morning upon waking, the status of the countdown was updated.
How many more days until Harry Potter?
Today, finally, the wait was over. The Dumbledore Army shirt, purchased from Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry a year and a half ago, was the clothing of choice. I had to veto the Gryffindor cape and tie, leftover from Halloween two years ago. Not to school, girlfriend, save it for tonight.
Would 5:30 never get here? The two hours of waiting between school and Mike's arrival home were interminable. Finally, finally they could go. Father and daughter, on a date with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Harry Potter is their thing. Mike started reading the books to her when Elena was six. They finished the last book this summer. When he came out of her room, after finishing the last chapter of the last book, he was teary. For over two years, they've spent nearly every other night immersed in Harry and Hogwarts. Mike's not a big reader, but these books captivated him. To share something like that with your child is magical.
I'm embarrassed to admit at times that I haven't read the books. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that these books are so special to Mike and Elena. I wanted to wait until this chapter of their lives was over – finish the books, see all the movies together – before I joined that world.
Dads and daughters need this, to share something that is theirs and theirs alone. Whatever it is, it doesn't really matter. It's not the thing, it's the bond the thing creates. It makes my heart so happy to know that Elena's childhood is Harry Potter, and that Harry Potter will always remind her of cozy evenings at home with her dad. For that, I can wait.
Today I Gave: I created an account with GiveBack.org. It's a new website created by Stephan Paletta, the winner of Oprah's Big Give, as a way for people to easily organize and manage their charitable giving. When you sign up, you create your own "foundation." You deposit money into your "foundation" and then choose which charities you'd like to donate to. GiveBack keeps track of all your different charities and donations, and at the end of the year you get a single statement for your tax records. Two really cool things about it? Right now when you sign up, $5 is automatically deposited into your account. You can donate it immediately or add your own funds. So even if you never decide to make another donation with your own funds, why not sign up and donate $5 for free? Secondly, they have pages and pages of merchants who have signed on as well. Every time you shop through one of these partners (hello, Hanna Andersson and Mini Boden?!), a percentage of your total is donated to a charity of your choice.
I chose to send my initial donation to the American Cancer Society. This month would have been my mother-in-law's 58th birthday. In 2001 she passed away after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Mike's father also lost his battle with lung cancer in 1991. In memory of Dee Dee and John, I thought this was a perfect choice for my first of many donations.
Today I Received: I watched my husband and daughter walk off hand in hand for a very special date. That was more than enough for today.