Friday, March 12, 2010

about books

We took an outing to the library this evening. I intended it to be a late afternoon trip, but by the time I finished gathering sap and baking the bread and cleaning up the flour and dishes from breadmaking and then getting socks and shoes and sweatshirts (yes, sweatshirts today instead of coats!), we pulled out of the driveway at almost 5:00. And since the library is nearby, we pulled into the nearly deserted library parking lot a few minutes before 5:00, and it suddenly occurred to me that today is Friday, and the library closes early on Friday evenings. I warned the kids that we may have to just drop the books off without time to browse for new ones, but when we got to the door I was relieved to see that the library didn't close until 6:00. We spent the next forty minutes in the comfortable familiarity of the children's area downstairs, choosing books, playing with toys, and coloring pictures.

I let each boy choose three books, and Christopher Robin chose a board book for Raindrop, too. And I found three of my own choosing for them, so our library book bag was full, which is somewhat illogical because we'll be on vacation for most of the next two weeks, and won't be bringing the books with us.

Not entirely illogical, though. We spent the evening after supper reading library books. I let the boys take turns choosing which books to read, and Peanut Butter, each time he was given the choice, chose the board book we'd checked out for Raindrop. Thankfully it was short and simple, so I didn't mind reading it over and over. It was a fairly good evening, though Raindrop was fussy and I had to read loudly over her fussing most of the time.

The kids were in bed before 8:00, which meant that we had time to read a chapter from The Adventures of Little Joe Otter in which one of the otter children lost his toe. He had ignored his father's warning and got his toe caught in a trap; his only choice was to jerk himself away, leaving his toe behind, or lose his life when the trapper came back. Christopher Robin's eyes were wide with horror as I read the story, but I was wishing Peanut Butter was following the story a little more closely. He's the one of my children who would ignore his father's warnings, but he's only three, and from the way he was standing on his head on his bed and chattering with Raindrop I could tell the moral of the story was entirely lost on him.

Tonight I'm thankful for books. For stories, for pages, for pictures. For adventures journeyed together, exotic lands experienced simultaneously, each absorbing at our unique levels, each living the stories in our own imaginations all at once. I remember life's brevity, and I drink deeply of this evening of togetherness in books.

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