As a child, my favorite place was the library.
The distinctive smell of worn books permeated the air, the silence broken only by the turning of a page or the creaking of a book spine. I would spend hours perusing the brightly colored bindings looking for the perfect title to suit my mood that day. Once my selections had been made, I’d walk to the check out with a pile so large I could barely see. The librarian would use her rubber stamp and boom, the books would be mine, if even for a short period of time.
The library was my sanctuary, and the books inside were my escape.
I knew the moment I gave birth, I’d want to share my library love with my children. Edison was less than a year old when we attended our first story time at the Coralville Library. He didn’t listen to the books as much as he just wanted to eat them. Thus, is the life of a one year old. We went a few more times, and I let him explore the play area. Yes, libraries now have play areas and no one will shush your child if they are being too loud.
As the years passed, we forgot about the library in lieu of playgrounds and lightsabers.
Until the fateful day when the city closed the downtown playground and we had nowhere to go. I suggested we head to the library and check it out. The boys were excited, running from table to table. They built LEGOS, and played with trains. Then they suggested we get a few books, and here is where I hesitated.
I love the library, but when it comes to actually checking out books, that’s a problem for me. Way back between my childhood library days and my children’s library days, I had checked out some books from a local library. All was well and good until I had forgotten all about the book. It wasn’t until I received a letter from the library notifying me that I owed them $100 that I finally realize “oh yeah, that library book”.
Luckily for me, I found the book, otherwise I would have owed them more money. It was at that point that I vowed never again to check out a library book. I know my weaknesses: Chewy Chips Ahoy, reality TV and returning library books.
So I stood there as my boys stared at me longingly, begging to check out books. How could I say no?
We walked over to the young reader section and the same colorful bindings from my childhood greeted me. “Hello old friends,” I thought to myself. Yeah, I could do this. I could check out books and make sure they are returned in a timely fashion. Heck there’s even a drive up book-drop by our house.
In a wave of over-confidence, I let each boy check out a book.
We read those books.
Then we forgot all about them.
Then I received an email from the library notifying me that I would owe them money if my books weren’t returned.
Then after forgetting the books at home at least half a dozen times, we remembered to drop them in that “handy” library drop box by our house.
You may see us at the library for story time, and playing with the LEGOS and trains, but we probably won’t be checking out books until the boys can remember to return them on their own or until my mom brain can remember things again.
How about you? Do you remember to return your library books? Please tell me I’m not alone.