Happy birthday, adored one!

So the girl in charge turned 17 last week while we were at the beach, which makes me very angsty because it's all going too damned fast but let's not dwell or I'll cry.

Well, here's the thing -- as some of you may know, the girl in charge shares a birthday with Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom and J.K. Rowling. This is huge, people -- especially for a girl who always has a Harry Potter book in rotation, can recite whole passages from each of the seven books verbatim, and kills, kills I'm telling you, at any kind of Potterish trivia game. I mean, just don't even try to beat her. We have used up three hard-backed copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, no lie -- literally read them to pieces. In this picture, my girl is saving our seats for the fabulous midnight premiere of the last Harry Potter movie; bet you can't guess what she's reading!

So in the middle of a summer like this one, when you can't trip over a log without finding a photo of Daniel Radcliffe underneath it, the girl in charge was in Harry Potter heaven. And for her birthday, I might have gone just a wee bit overboard on the Harry Potter loot. She got Harry Potter Legos (Hagrid's Hut and the Knight Bus -- way cool!).

She got a Harry Potter wand that lights up when you say "lumos!" (and give it a little shake and make sure a battery is in there somewhere) and a Harry Potter sticker book (which one might think was aimed at the younger Harry Potter fans but one would be wrong, wrong, wrong, mother! because for the girl in charge and her friends -- seniors in high school, remember -- the only thing as cool as Harry Potter stickers would be a Doctor Who coffee mug or a "Tangled" poster, both of which are currently on the girl in charge's Christmas wish list).

She also got a Harry Potter poster book, and I take great glee in reporting that the soldier, who reported back to West Point less than a week later, begged -- begged -- for the Hermione poster, and the girl in charge gave it to him and told me that it was the first time the soldier had ever hugged her.

I do hope this magically wonderful girl (who could have been The Chosen One) realizes how much she is cherished and adored; the world is full of busy-ness and hustle-bustle, and we all move way too fast and talk too much, and fill our heads with worries that don't really mean anything. I feel like every day that slips by is another lost opportunity to make sure my beautiful girl knows: I am the luckiest mom.