A couple years back, I saw an email come through at work from my boss’s assistant . They had some free tickets to the Harry Potter Exhibit. I hit reply instantly and requested two. Good thing I was fast on the trigger finger because they were immediately snapped up. I knew my then nine year old fan would be thrilled. I read the series with my eldest son. He was about the age of the young Harry when we started the series. My second devoured the books on his own when he could read at that level.I went home and shared the good news. He was thrilled. Then was the matter of finding time to go. I put as one of my new year’s resolutions that year: spend more time individually with each of my kids. Easier said than done with work, school and sports activities. Weeks went by and I was afraid the passes would expire before I used them (and I felt the guilt start creeping in).
Around the holidays, my meeting schedule is lighter. So I decided to take him to work with me since I couldn’t find a full, free day. We would go to lunch and then head to the exhibit in the afternoon. Lunch was a success. But for a kid who loves his food, that isn’t saying much. We then headed to the Seattle Center. Turns out the program was so popular we could only get an evening time.
We took the opportunity to explore. We took some fun pictures together in an old fashioned photo booth. We played chess with a huge plastic set the size of my toddler. I lost. He goes to a chess class and knows much more than I do. He enjoyed explaining to me what he had learned. And it was wonderful to be just us.
In the evening, part of me wished I didn’t have to get in the car and head back downtown. I was tired. Damian was pumped though and I couldn’t bear to disappoint him. When we arrived, he was literally bouncing with excitement as we waited in line. He walked trance like when we entered, studying each exhibit, drinking it all in. I was a bit mortified when he obliviously walked in front of people as if he was the only one there. I honestly don’t think they registered for him.
I loved seeing the light in his face. He recited parts of the book and remembered little details I had long forgotten. He only showed a touch of disappointed that the “grand room” (which was movie set cut away) was not “very grand”. He chose as a memento a replicate of the wand Dumbledore used in the films. My heart skipped with his as we sprinted through the Seattle rain holding hands and trying hard not to get his new wand wet. One mommy promise kept; one part of my resolution fulfilled.