The draw today was more than the books. Punkin's clay "Storyteller" was on display at the local library along with some of the artwork from other students in her school. We appropriately ooh'd and aah'd at her creation while she beamed with pride. The two littles, however, wanted to go explore the kids' section. So many books, CD's, movies! Where to go first? I told them they could each check out two movies and four books (originally, it was one movie and three books, but I can be a softie when it comes to the library).
As they looked at this and that and this other thing, I informed Punkin, Sweet Pea, and Buddy that I was going to the grown-up section to see if there were any books that I might like to check out. Their eyebrows shot up in surprise. I reminded them to behave, be quiet, be careful and to listen to their big sister. If they didn't we would be leaving without any books for the offending party(ies). They all promised me they would behave, then they spotted the computers and ran across the room. I took a deep breath, reassured myself all would be ok, and I walked toward the grown-up section.
I could already feel the anticipation washing over me. I love books. LOVE them. When I was younger, I would ride my bike clear across to the other side of town just to get to the library. It was my favorite place to go. So many books, movies -- even music! All the possibilities! Being in a library was better than being in a candy store for me. I even loved the smell of the library. I'd check out so many books on these trips that I would have a hard time toting them all back home. The whole trip meant a sense of freedom for me. From the ride across town on my bike, to taking my time looking at each book that interested me, to being able to check out and bring home "anything I wanted".
As I slowly roamed the stacks this day, I let my eyes caress each spine. I inhaled the smell of paper, bindings, words, knowledge, possibilities. Closing my eyes, I could feel my shoulders relax. Then I heard it, that small sound that many people wouldn't hear right away, but Mom ears can detect a mile away. My children, looking for me in the stacks, voices rising as they approach. The two littles spotting me, and running full bore into me "MOMMY!"--followed by a quick "Sssshhh!!" from me, then in a whisper "What do you need? Is everything ok?" "Oh, yes, we were just wondering where you were."
"Ok, I'm here. I'll only be another minute or two, then we'll go. Did you pick out what you wanted?"
"Yep. Ok! Bye!" and the sounds of two giggling little clowns running away.
I was blessed with two more visits like that in the next seven minutes. sigh
Still, I refused to be rushed, even knowing I was on "borrowed time" and someone was bound to have a meltdown sooner rather than later. We had had a busy day and I could feel the meltdown coming on.*
There was so much I wanted to look at**, and vowed I would indeed look at it all... some other day. I bid adieu to all the lovely books and movies and CD's, and promised I would be back. Holding tight to my two books and two CD's***, I made my way back to the kids' section.
I rounded up the clowns, (Punkin seemed to also be having a hard time saying goodbye to the books), we checked out our picks and eventually made it back to the externally flameless Mommyvan.
The clowns really enjoyed the library, and are already asking when they can go back. We've designated one chair in the living room as the "library book chair" -- the place where they are to keep the books and movies when they are not looking at them, so we know where they are.
Now all I have to do is find the receipt the librarian gave us when we checked out the fourteen books and seven movies so I know when everything needs to be returned...
- - - - - - - - - -
* I wanted to be home when the meltdown happened rather than in a LIBRARY of all places...
** And now... with the computers to search the books, movies, and CD's available by author and title and what not... without having to thumb through a card catalog?! And the access to the internet so I can check my Amazon Wish List (because I didn't have enough forethought to bring it with me) to see which books I want to read, but might not have... seriously. HEAVEN.
*** Two books and two CD's
Little Big Town: A Place to Land - love this CD
Big and Rich - Comin to Your City - S'ok. One or two of the songs make me laugh. I'm glad I didn't buy this CD.
Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult
The Tenth Circle - Jodi Picoult
And really... between the newly rediscovered library and the book exchange at my work, I probably have more books then I'll be able to read for the rest of the year... I'm getting addicted to reading again... well, maybe addicted is too strong a word. I could stop picking up books and reading them anytime I want... really, I could... I just don't want to right now...