Parenting is a wild endeavor to survive, no matter what your financial status is. But the current crushing state of income inequality and capitalism's stronghold on class makes it especially hard for broke and single parents to afford the costs of parenthood. What functioned as a viable lifestyle for a single person is often turned on its head when a little one is added to the equation. How such tiny humans are so expensive, we may never know, but they somehow continue their reign of racking up debt.
When the single father Matt Burke shared a Medium post about his struggles as a broke parent, he didn't expect it to go viral. In his post, he shared the creative ways he spends time with his 9-year-old daughter in lieu of in-home internet and luxurious vacations. One of their main ways of spending time together, Burke shares, is sitting down to read the Harry Potter series.
After revealing his initial reluctance to get into the series (apparently Burke thought being your 30s means you won't enjoy Harry Potter, which is patently false), he shared how the books became a cornerstone of quality time.
"At the time of this writing, we’re halfway through the 2nd book, and we’re having an absolute BLAST reading them together. 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. I get to shout and use all the funny voices I’ve accumulated over the years without her looking at me like I’m a total weirdo."
When Burke shared the post on Twitter, it quickly went viral and other parents shared their support.
"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," Burke wrote.
In fact, when Rowling caught wind of the story she immediately gifted Burke and his daughter the sweetest gift.
"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," Rowling wrote.
I'm not crying, you're crying.