Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Just Around The Corner

I had Wesley for the day last Thursday, as I told you. Summer has started, school is out and Wesley and I are a team of explorers, determined to have the most possible fun we can in one day a week. He's 19 months old and I'm in my fifties, so it's lucky that I like some of the same things he likes.

So, we went to story hour at the public library. I used to be a children's librarian in a public library, so I conducted many, many story hours and then, when I had children, I took them to story hours at the library. But it has been many years. My children were in high school and college when we moved into the district for this branch library, so I never visited the children's section. I knew vaguely where it was, over in the corner on the other side, but I had never visited there.

Anyway, Wes and I went there. It's a whole other world over there. For years I have been going to this library to check out books for pleasure and to read magazines, doing professional reading and research and meeting with others to work on our National Board Certification. But I never once visited the children's section.

I have to say, it's pretty darn cool. They have all these great wooden toys and puzzles which are attached to the tables so they can't be lost (what a great idea) and bright pictures and rugs and a story pit with stairs just right for a little boy to climb up and down, up and down. There were a surprising number of small children there on a weekday morning. I always forget how many moms don't work. Wes was in heaven. He played and laughed and shared and grabbed, just like all the others.

Then, the librarian called the children to story hour. I thought it would be in the story pit, but it was in another room altogether, which I never even knew existed. She had songs and finger plays and books to read and, best of all, oh, best of all! She had a ball. Wes was in a paroxysm of delight in my lap when she brought out the ball. But he waited patiently until it was his turn, then he threw it to another child. It was obvious he has been read to by Mommy and Daddy, because he was one of the most patient and attentive children in the group, actually looking at the illustrations in the book she held up.

The kids had a lot of fun. They learned that the library is a pretty neat place. An important lesson and one they may hold onto until they are adults. Hopefully, they will.

It was a great outing. One we both enjoyed. But here's the thing that still amazes me. This was a whole, entire area of the open building with kids and toys and rugs and books and colors and sounds. And I never even glimpsed it. It was right there. And I never glimpsed it.

It kind of made me wonder what else might be on the other side of a building, around that next corner, on that other street? What else I have never glimpsed? Interesting to think about, isn't it?