One of the things we all loved about our old suburban land of a thousand suns was the fantastic public library right down the street from us. Despite it's near-arctic temperatures (the interior of library that is, particularly in contrast to the heat of the outdoors) and less than chipper staff, their programs were very enjoyable. So enjoyable and so utterly free that one had to arrive at the library at leas an hour prior to the event and stand in line with the hundred or so other folks who were also standing in line, and if they could cram you into the room, then you were IN! And you could breathe a sigh of relief. If not, well, you had to break the news to your crying toddler. That's life, right?
We loved it because we didn't know any better. We thought it was normal not to be able to find a parking space or a seat or for it to be so crowded that your visit was cloaked in constant fear of losing one of your children in the melee - it was FREE after all. I mean, how many things are FREE?
A lot, apparently.
We have recently availed ourselves of our local library with all of their many, many FREE events and programs because it's summer and of course that's what you do in the summer for free. You go to the library. And I was nervous. My oldest daughter was even more nervous. What if it isn't good? I mean, it's so small.
Oh sweet, fortunate children! Blessed, happy mother! It is the library of every child's dreams!
If you are an adult seeking a quiet place to do some serious thought in complete silence, please do not go to the Delton District Library. If, on the other hand, you are a child who loves books and also cats and fish and parrots and puppets and outdoor reading areas that smell like fresh herbs: go there immediately!
Oh, and about that getting there an hour early and waiting in line thing that I was so accustomed to...
We "only" got there a half hour before the free movie (yes, a free movie for kids to watch in a special screening room in the library of wonderment, with a blanket on the floor and chairs and tables and free fruit punch. We were welcome to bring our own snacks, you guys.) was set to start, and guess what? Plentiful parking. No lines. They didn't even start talking about the movie until three minutes before it was set to start. Then it was sit wherever you please. Meander in and out at will.
Just take a minute to let it soak in: I enjoyed being at a free children's event by myself with four kids.
The librarians were sweet and kind and helpful! The other children were friendly! Not a single patron of the library gave any other patron the Death Glare! We didn't feel like ragamuffin outcasts because I let my children pick out their own clothes and brush their own hair! Hallelujah! Such a place does exist!
Paul said a very special motorized-vehicle-Hallelujah as well when he discovered that they had so kindly installed a special RACETRACK just for him outside in the reading garden.
And when I'm done writing this to you, I'm going to go and put the free ventriloquism classes on the calendar. True story!