The Family

The Family

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Confession

I don't like going to the library with my children.

There, I've said it. (Can you hear the exhale?)

Here's the thing: I love books. I love the library. I most certainly love my children.

It's just I don't find the library an enjoyable experience anymore.

When Jack was a toddler you'd find us at story time every week. Even back then there were some things I felt were left to be desired, but the guilt I felt about thinking negatively about the library, a place where the love of books and reading run supreme, compelled me to keep my thoughts to myself and to persevere in our weekly visits.

When Mattie came along it got harder to keep the routine. I promised myself I'd take her when she got older. For two summers we tried story time. Last year I gave it up.

Part of my feelings stem from the difficulty locating books on the shelves.

Another frustration, at least with story time, is how little you can hear of the actual story because of the noise and chaos that always seem to ensue.

A constant sore spot is how often we bring home books we never read; I say yes to random books pulled off the shelves because what kind of mother tells her child no when it comes to library books??? Then we get home and immediately discard them until its time for their return.

Yet another aspect is that one child wants to do one thing while the other child wants to do something else. This inevitably leaves one of the two pouting or angry when we leave.

And don't even get me started on what feels like a lack of help or interest on the part of the librarians in the children's section at our library.

Until a couple of weeks ago I thought this was something better left unsaid. I had never heard anyone else express thoughts like this. Then I had some conversations with friends expressing the same feelings, and I also listened to a Read-Aloud-Revival podcast where one of the guests talked about her own, as well as others, feelings about venturing to the library with young children.

I knew I was not alone.

Part of what I've tried to do the last couple of years is to create our own home library so that quality stories are always at our fingertips. We've amassed a decent collection. In fact, I was talking to my husband a few weeks ago about the possibility of having additional shelves built for our bedroom because we need more space for books!!!

All of this might lead you to believe I've nixed going to the library.

Quite the contrary.

I just make it a point to go by myself. I pick out the books ahead of time and make a quick run inside. My favorite part is checking out, especially with two particular librarians. They are always so inquisitive about my choices and offer great suggestions for future reads.

And its when I get home from the library that the magic happens: the reading of the books themselves and the total immersion into the stories they weave.

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