But every once in a while we have a falling out. And it is usually always my fault…and the fault of a book. Behold… my latest accomplice:
I can’t find it anywhere and every day the fines were growing and my inbox was filling with friendly reminders to return it. But if I went in, I would have to confess the loss and pay the lost book fee. Paying is conceding that my house, my car, my children had eaten the book. The chances of this are high to really high. But I wasn’t ready yet.
Thus the stand off began. My accrued fines kept us from checking anything new out. So every time Olivia pleaded to go to the library, I responded by grabbing the dust buster and vacuuming behind beds, searching for George.
Yesterday, I caved. We strolled into the Childrens Section, and I announced that we would need to be checking out ” up front” today. Our Childrens Section is a lovely safe sanctuary of neutrality and reconcilation. It is a grace filled territory…only strengthened by the reality of ripped, gnawed books that have been read for decades by children as they potty train.
The Childrens Librarians can’t even scan your card to see your account. If you have any kind of “messiness’ you just take it up front. When you get it all sorted out, you return to the childrens section and no one asks any questions. I appreciate this.
So I headed up front, took out my library card’s dear friend, my credit card, and whispered “Do whatever you need to do to let us back in the library. We can’t live this way anymore. And no, I have no idea where that book is. ”
After letting me pay my fines in full, the Kind Librarian actually gave me the benefit of the doubt that I had returned the book and perhaps they hadn’t scanned it in…She initiated a library wide search, suspending further fines, and buying me a week of living grace…before I would become proud owner of a Curious George book that I will never see again.
Then, feeling properly redeemed, I marched with my head held high back to the Children’s Section. Where of course, no one asked -clearly the Library’s version of HIPPA.
[box]*Update: Whenever I post about the library I inevitably get emails from out of town readers expressing how much you hate going to the library and sharing harrowing stories. I hate going to your libraries too. We have a great library with a great children’s section. The library is also on the short list of places I can walk to, adding a magical element. Driving anywhere adds more cost after strapping in Cinderella dresses. So, fear not, oh library haters! You are not doing anything wrong. And literacy can be encouraged anywhere. Today our Literacy Lesson was sounding out T-A-R-G-E-T in the parking lot. [/box]