Friday night, Twink decides that we absolutely must go and get the new book. Book Six. Never mind the fact that we will have to line up with somewhere around a gazillion other people to get a book that we could stroll into the store on Saturday and pick up. Nope, we have to go out at dark o'clock, in full Hermione regalia, no less.
The Wrench is too tired to go. He has been working out in the July heat, second shift, and even with all of the cold water and ice machines out on the hanger floor, it isn't enough on days like Friday. So he waves us off, with a reminder to bring home something to snack on while we read the first chapter together. He settles into the Internet to read his email and surf eBay, while the Twinkster and I head off for Big Harry Potter Fun.
Upon arriving at The Store, we realize quickly that there are fewer people here than there were for the last book. There were so few that we thought for a moment that we had the wrong day. Twinkle decides right there and then that she is going to STAND in line for Book Six. After all, the mere mortals who failed to don an authentic costume will not be able to bask in the full glory of her Hermoine-ness if she is seated in her wheelchair. She also points out that the handicapped space where I parked the van is mere *steps* from The Store's entrance, and so it's no biggie deal, Mom. We can just run out and grab the chair if we need it.
I know better. I should have never let her talk me into it, but I did. Twinkle floated into The Store, all wavy-haired, sparkly-eyed, with her black robes fluttering in the night breeze. She got several positive comments on her appearance, and she was simply glowing with the fun of it all.
It lasted for all of twelve minutes.
When the pain finally broke through the excitement, she couldn't stand any more. I was left with the choice of either making her walk back to the van to get the chair, (which meant losing our place in line, not to mention an agonizing walk for her) or with leaving her on the floor, in a sea of strangers.
Neither option was appealing to me. So, we waited it out together, and we made a game out of sitting on the floor, scooting our way up to the register, and then I carried her, and The Book all the way to the van.
All the way home, she cried, and apologized. For everything. For being too stubborn to take her chair. For being so much in love with Harry Potter that she couldn't wait until Saturday morning to go to The Store. For being born "wrong".
I said all the mommy-things that I was supposed to say. That we both learned a lesson about standing in long lines. That daddy and I were glad that she loved to read so much that she couldn't wait for her books, and that we were especially glad that she loved to read them aloud with us, and to us. And that she wasn't born wrong - she was different, to be sure, but not wrong.
And because it was dark, she didn't see my tears.