It’s not always easy to keep your kids entertained — especially when you can’t afford all of the tech gadgets, vacations and other activities that can come along with the role of “parent.”
For single dad Matt Burke, navigating being the “broke parent” has meant lots of bonding time with his daughter. They spend their time together playing in parks, exploring their Florida town and reading together.
While he wasn’t interested in the world of “Harry Potter” at first, he admits he was wrong for thinking he was “too cool” for the books. In fact, reading these tales of wizardry with his daughter has become one of his favorite pastimes.
He described the fun they have together in an essay he wrote:
“At the time of this writing, we’re halfway through the 2nd book, and we’re having an absolute BLAST reading them together,” the dad wrote in an essay on medium.com.
He continued, “We switch off chapter by chapter reading them out loud to each other while the other reads along in their own copy of the book. This not only allows her to get more used to reading aloud in front of someone, but it gets me directly involved in something she loves, and it gives me the chance to be extra dramatic when I read my chapters and bring myself into the characters in the book, which has proven to be a ton of fun.”
He happened to share this essay with J.K. Rowling — not thinking that the busy author would ever actually see the message via Twitter:
“I’m a single parent, broke as can be, and reading the Harry Potter series together has become one of the biggest sources of bonding for us. Doubt you’ll come across this or read this piece, but I just wanted to say thanks for the assist,” he wrote to Rowling.
@jk_rowling I’m a single parent, broke as can be, and reading the Harry Potter series together has become one of the biggest sources of bonding for us.
Doubt you’ll come across this or read this piece, but I just wanted to say thanks for the assist. 🙏🏻https://t.co/hkX0q5HSCX
— Matt Burke (@mattburkephoto) June 7, 2018
To his surprise, not only did Rowling see the message, but she also responded to the dad in the kindest way:
“The gifts you’re giving your daughter are priceless and I’m truly honoured that Harry & co are playing a part,” the “Harry Potter” author wrote.
.@mattburkephoto The gifts you’re giving your daughter are priceless and I’m truly honoured that Harry & co are playing a part. DM me your address for a set of signed Potters x https://t.co/EAcIKvwJwb
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 7, 2018
She even went on to offer a set of signed books to Burke and his daughter!
Her response does two things: It proves she’s the best ever, and it reaffirms our belief in the magic of reading. We can’t thank Burke and Rowling enough for reminding us of these facts!
What books are you planning to read with your kids this summer? The “Harry Potter” novels are always a great option!