When Matt Burke, dad of one, wrote an article about bonding with his 9-year-old daughter over Harry Potter books, he decided to tweet it to J.K. Rowling — but never in his wildest dreams expected such a magical response!
“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,” he tweeted. “Doubt you’ll come across this or read this piece but I just wanted to share and say thanks for the assist.”
However, Rowling – who has experienced life as single parent, back when she began writing Harry Potter – did indeed respond.
“The gifts you’re giving your daughter are priceless and I’m truly honoured that Harry & co are playing a part,” Rowling tweeted. “DM me your address for a set of signed Potters.”
Matt, from Tallahassee, Florida tells Babble how he reacted.
“The signed set of books immediately changed my entire week,” he says. “It’s just such an insanely kind gesture on her part. To be able to gift the set of signed books to my daughter Bailey is going to make me Dad of the Year in my house!”
In the article on Medium, Matt movingly wrote about his struggles as a single dad as he attempts to build his career as a photographer, which has yet to bring him financial stability. He detailed how he attempted to be “constructively creative” in the time he spends with his daughter, whilst not having the funds to pay for “long distance trips of theme parks.”
He explains to Babble why he wrote the article in the first place: “People these days, mostly on social media, tend to gloss over the vulnerable moments of parenting and only show the highlight reels. I feel it’s extremely important to bring the reality along for the ride as well, for people in similar situations, to know that they’re not alone in their struggle.”
Matt wrote that because there is no Internet or TV, nor a cell phone in his hand, he is totally focused on his daughter.
“It’s amazing what can be learned from a 9-year-old when you just let her talk,” he wrote.
Unable to afford Internet at home and having read all the books he had in his collection, Matt says the library would be a good place to “get free books and keep my brain active.” A friend of his told him to tweet to J.K. Rowling, figuring that she would understand Matt’s situation.
“I sat on the idea for a few days until I decided to go for it,” he says.
When it comes to these new additions to his library, Matt’s plans are simple — he won’t be selling them anytime soon.
“I’m going to keep them because of the reminder that … there are still people with kind hearts floating around,” he says. “I often get let down by the state of the world, so a kind gesture of hers is one that I plan on keeping in the family for a long time.’’