“At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better.”
-Barack Obama (as a Senator)
When BigBrother was itsy-bitsy, I started taking him to the library for story time. He couldn’t even sit up on his own at that very first class. I sat on the floor with him on my lap. I clapped his hands. I sang him songs. I forced myself out of the house while muddling through postpartum depression. I endured the stupid of other parents and children for one reason and one reason only: I wanted my child to love the library.
It worked, and he fell in love with the library at a very young age. As did his brother. I have my parents to thank for my love of the library.
I remember getting my first library card. I was around the age of six and it was a hot summer day. My mom drove me across the border into Ohio to the Carnegie Public Library. I remember the dome and the sound of our feet on the floor. I remember the echo of my voice; I’ve never whispered quite well. I remember signing my name and my mom reminding me about the weight of responsibility. I remember my first fine.
Since BigBrother has been five-and-a-half for over a month now, I thought I should pay my library fine and take him to get his library card. (I’m okay with having library fines; I see it as “supporting the local library.”) I asked sometime after his fifth birthday what the Magic Age of Library Card Getting was and my favorite librarian shocked and awed me when she said, “Birth.” We got into a discussion how people will get cards for their newborns just so they can borrow more DVDs. Sigh.
FireDad and I decided to go with five-and-a-half and spent a few months talking about responsibility and taking care of books and designating a specific library bag for his picks and so on. It was a Very Big Deal. We made plans today and it was all he talked about until after lunch.
After he picked out his five books and the two of them picked out a movie together, we made our way to the counter. Our favorite librarian waited on us and understood that it was a Very Big Deal. BigBrother grinned from ear to ear. He was polite if not a little fidgety/excited. LittleBrother got kind of miffed that I told him he couldn’t have one for two years, but was distracted with pushing the button to open the doors on the way out. (Ooh! Shiny!)
I took a photo outside the library this morning so I could document the whole affair. I mean, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words… so a picture of a library card is probably worth 50 million. Right? Unless your memory card eats it, that is. But I drove us back this evening and retook the picture, because I wanted a visual representation of this momentous occasion. His very first library card.
Picture drama aside, the kid is super proud of his library card… for which he signed his own name. He showed his Daddy at the fire station when we stopped by and has been talking about library this and library that all day. My heart has swelled with 84 kinds of book worm parent pride.
Here’s hoping this is the start of a lifelong personal relationship with the library.