Twenty minutes of driving around Assiniboine Park looking for parking, ten minutes walking from our car at the far end of the zoo parking lot to the festivities near the conservatory, being jostled and bumped by about ten thousand people (give or take a few), standing in line for forty-five minutes just for the chance to buy a few candies from Honeydukes, being surrounded by hoardes of people speaking a language that’s almost entirely foreign to me (dementors? quittiche? I don’t even know how to spell those things), another hour of waiting in line for the magic moment when they opened the van doors and popped open the first box… all of that was worth it for this look of pleasure on my daughter’s face at 12:06 a.m. We managed to get a little food into her at lunch time, but that’s about the only time she’s lifted her nose out of the book all day. Wanna know how it ends? She’ll be able to tell you by nightfall.

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