“I don’t believe you.” I think I said this a million times.
“It’s true,” my mother, obviously exasperated with my disbelief, replied again and again.
“Are you sure? Are you really sure?”
“Yes. Yes, I’m sure – I wouldn’t lie to you about this.” Again she answered to my disbelief.
“As many as I want?” I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was a flaw some place in her statement.
“Yes, as many as you want. You can get as many as you want.” We went around and around again.
Even at age 6, I couldn’t believe I was allowed to get as many books as I wanted from the library. AS MANY AS I WANTED. I don’t think there was another instance in my life where I was allowed an unlimited amount of something I wanted (we’re excluding peas here because, well I wanted to limit those from day one). Could that little plastic card really give me access to ANYTHING I WANTED IN THE LIBRARY? I was quite stunned. I stood there in our small village library with my arms filled up with books – all sorts of books. Picture books, Snoopy books, chapter books. I wasn’t sure how all this worked – all I knew was that I could feed this ravenous monster inside me with books. As many books as I wanted….and when they were all read, someone would take me back to this magical place and let me get MORE books. FOR FREE. It seemed the only thing I had to do was read and return them before the date stamped on the little rectangular piece of paper attached to the inside cover. Since I had no concept of time, that wasn’t even a bother for me.
All I could think of was “What an amazing world I live in.”
“As many as I want?” My son couldn’t seem to grasp the idea.
“Yes,” I replied,”as many as you want.”
“We rent them? Does it cost as much as at the video rental store?” He asked.
“No, we don’t ‘rent’ them. We ‘borrow’ them. It means we check them out and then promise to bring them back after a certain amount of time.” I think I had explained this a million times.
“Are you sure? That doesn’t seem right.” Argued my precocious 6 year old. “Are you saying I can get as many books as I want for free from this place and all you do is show them a plastic card?”
“Yes,” I explained, “that’s how a library works.”
He shook his head in disbelief as he approached the counter with his arms filled with books. Picture books, Snoopy books, chapter books. He conveyed to the librarian his disbelief and she assured him I was not telling tales out of school.
Another generation stunned by the magic of a piece of plastic.