Friday, November 12, 2010

A Magical Surprise

Friends, I have had a surprise for Sammy. A surprise I knew would cause her heart to go pitter-patter at the very notion of attending this magical, surprise event. Yesterday started out like any day-off from school where Sammy asked to go here and then there, asked if she could do this or that, and all I could say was, “We’ll see.” Then, when 11:30 rolled around, I said in a hushed voice, “At noon today, Lisa is coming over with Hannah and we’re all going to the Harry Potter Exhibit.” Then all was silent except for Alex who burst into tears screaming, "I want to go too!" At this moment, Sammy had no words, her eyes, and exaggerated, goofy smile spoke volumes.

What an amazing exhibit! We thoroughly enjoyed every second of every object on display. Sadly we were not allowed to take pictures so my camera stayed tucked away in my bag. Darn! Sammy and I are both big fans of Harry Potter and there is nothing more exhilarating than to see the magic of the books and films in the flesh. Sharing this experience with Sammy was a dream come true. While walking through Hagrid's hut I asked, “How are you doing?” Sammy’s response, “Fine mom. I feel like I got a special invitation to Hogwarts! It’s so great!” Love. Pure love I tell you.

When we finally saw all there was to see, we magicked ourselves in to the gift shop. The gift shop was incredible! There were coloring books, posters, mugs, pens... the usual gift shop items. Other items for purchase included wands of all sorts, the Nimbus 2000, the Golden Snitch and even quills and parchment. Disappointingly however, everything costs so much and being the eaves dropper that I am, I overheard many parents explaining to their children why they weren’t going to spend wads of money on things that they can find elsewhere for less. It’s true, it was a complete shakedown. Might as well have turned us all upside down and grabbed our wallets. Sammy said, “Why do they have all of these great things that most people can’t afford.” I didn’t tell her that it wasn’t a matter of can’t, but more a matter of, won’t. The prices were insane. In the end, because I really wanted Sammy to have a memento from our day, I told her to pick one item and fortunately, she picked Hedgewig the Owl which was $19.99... steep for a modestly sized stuffy, but it was something I knew she would cherish. I bought an owl for Alex too.

While in the gift shop I decided to take a few pictures. They said pictures weren't allowed in the exhibit, but nobody said anything about taking pictures in the gift shop, so I snapped away.

{I adore the Nimbus 2000 too}

{Wands for sale}

After the gift shop Lisa and I had another surprise for our girls... we took them straight over to the Harry Potter IMAX movie to see The Prisoner of Azkaban, only we didn’t see The Prisoner of Azkaban and instead saw The Order of the Phoenix. My bad. When Lisa and I first began plotting this surprise, The Prisoner of Azkaban was showing, then by the time I purchased tickets, I hadn’t noticed that they had switched to another movie in the series. I felt horrible because we're currently reading The Prisoner of Azkaban {all in preparation for the exhibit and movie} which will be our very last book in the series for a while until Sammy is a little older. After the third book, things get really dark and Sammy has an overwhelmingly vivid imagination which in my opinion doesn’t bode well for sleeping well at night. Amazingly, she made it through the movie even though I did catch her covering her eyes and wincing during certain scenes. Last night, she awoke around 2:00 a.m. saying that she kept seeing Voldermort in her dreams. I felt terrible.

All in all, we had an adventurous day and a memorable time together. Later, after dinner, Sammy broke down in tears and sobbed until she was snug in her bed. I think the excitement was a little more than she could bear and in the end, she just exploded with emotions. I have to say that I was a bit perturbed only because I wanted her to sleep with a smile on her face and shower me with kisses of gratitude and instead she freaked. I shouldn’t have been upset because it really was a lot to take in and sometimes children have to go to that somber place in order to process what they’ve experienced. Despite the emotional evening, I’m still glad we had this time together. Just the two of us, mom and daughter, sharing our fondness for all things magical. It was such a great day! 


  1. Fun! We love Harry Potter too!

  2. I think even though she was overwhelmed later., the magic will always stick with her. Such a special day.