I looked at the weather yesterday and decided we needed to stock up on Ice Storm Essentials. Our list included a stop at the drug store for milk and cereal, and a stop at the library for all the books.
The boys yelped with joy. It’s been awhile since we’ve
found made time to make it to the library. I justify it by pointing at the massive bookshelves all over our house, the piles of books sitting atop night stands and end tables, the books spilling off of tabletops in their playroom. We don’t need new books. We could read through everything on our shelves and not be required to purchase or borrow a book for multiple years.
These two brother sure do love the library.
On the way down the road, they chattered about which books they most wanted to seek out, which books they might even consider borrowing again. They asked me if I remembered where certain books were shelved, and I mumbled back some half-answer. After they jumped out of the car and began running toward the library building, a memory stirred from deep within the recesses of my Mommy Brain.
2010 on a snowier trip to the library. Also, those cheeks. Also, how weird is it that they’re standing in the same position with LittleBrother turned in toward BigBrother. WEIRD.
We’ve been making our way to and from the library for all of their lives. Baby Storytime came and went. Preschool brought about a decline in our attendance in library offered classes because of schedules and other activities like t-ball and soccer and so on. Last year, BigBrother tried to attend the spring after school program every other Friday, but wouldn’t you know it, he ended up with Friday baseball practice during the class time. While we’re not as involved as we once were, these two still love the library.
I sent them off to the kids’ section while I paid our fines (which I refer to as “supporting the library system”), and eventually made my way over to the children’s library. I rounded a corner and found them looking at books, but they didn’t yet know their mother had arrived. I listened to their conversation. Not facing one another, BigBrother focused on the shelf of graphic novels and LittleBrother staring intently at a new arrival, they carried on a conversation — about books. One assured the other that his pick would be good, while the other said that, yes, the second Pokemon seemed to be quite interesting. Next, they decided, they would go put their books down on the table and head over to the paperback chapter books to find their favorites.
I snapped the photo. They both looked at me, their books still in hand. They didn’t even bother saying a word, just walked toward the kids’ table area and did as they said they were going to do. They set down their books. LittleBrother took off his coat and hat. They set off in search of new finds and old favorites alike.
I let them know I was heading off to find some books for myself. They barely acknowledged me, using stage-like library whispers to talk about main characters and plot lines and villains and everything I dreamed of my children discussing. I wandered the rows by myself, without holding the hand of a child or repeating, “Shh, we’re in the library.” For ten minutes, I made my way up and down the aisles, picking books off of shelves and judging them based on their cover. I eventually ended up in the New Arrivals section, picking and choosing, when suddenly LittleBrother was at my side.
“Mommy, BigBrother wants to get the book that I picked out but I found it first.”
“Don’t we live in the same house? Can’t he read it if you check it out?”
He flopped back to his seat, not content with my guidance. Are kids ever content with their parents guidance?
By the time I made it back to the table, they had switched off the book in question, entering into a lively discussion as to whether or not the treehouse had a toilet. I sat down with my books, shook my head, and paged through my picks to see if I would take them home or not. They looked through their books, doing the same.
Eventually content with our picks, we gathered our things, checked out, and walked back out to the car. On the ride home, not a peep came from the back seat as they began reading fully through their library picks — even sharing them back and forth. So much has changed over the years of our library visits, but I am glad that they still enjoy going — together. And I am so glad they have found joy in books.