there was this one time in second grade. i was in the school library and i really had to pee. you know, like, intensely. but, you guys, more importantly, i needed to find at least one book to take away with me before i had to get to class, or wherever it was i had to be. i don't even remember why i was in the library alone. was it lunch time and i had snuck away? seems like the sad, loner thing i would have very well done. i don't really know, but the point is that i was all alone and had to pee and with a sense of urgency, i was dashing all about to find a suitable book. and then i found one and i was checking it out from the librarian and then, well, i peed. right there. in my dress, for in that stage of life i refused to wear anything but dresses, you see. and i started crying. it all turned out alright in the end, but i guess what i am meaning to say most of and above all with this story is this: i love books. i will pee myself before i have to live life without a good book. and that is my introduction to this post.
a couple of weeks ago i got myself a library card to the seattle public libraries, and, simultaneously, to a magical world i had forgotten all about. books have been a joy and treasure to me since before i could read. i could listen to story after story, and when my dad would start to fall asleep as he read me books before bed, i would elbow him in the ribs or snap his eyelids and say, "daddy WAKE UP! keep reading!"
growing up, we lived a mere five-minute-walk away from the library. trips there are among my favorite and most vivid memories from my childhood. i remember having my own card, and the sense of importance i felt when i was allowed to carry it my pocket. every time, i had to pried away from the shelves. i was allowed to check out as many books as i could carry. so, on the walks back, those five minutes would seem a lifetime under the weight of treasure trove in my arms. but it didn't matter, because i knew as soon as i got home i could pile the books in my room and dive into each new adventure for hours on end. those were special times. not only for all the stories i was exposed to, or the happiness i experienced with the opening of each new cover, but for the endless possibilities i felt there were in the world of books, and how readily available they were to me.
i have been in libraries since, but not with a card. it's different when you have a library card. and, well, i felt something. something i remember feeling when i was eight, nine, and ten. when i was that little girl who would parade around the library like it was disneyland. giddiness, i think it was. has that ever happened to you? when you suddenly feel or experience something that transports you in time? i mean the good and happy kind of feeling and memory. you are filled with a sereneness and excitement that you had somehow lost when you grew up. i don't think that happens to most people often enough. i think we lose, or rather forget, quite a bit when grown up things start getting bigger and pushier and hulk-like and stomp out some of the sweeter, simpler, and precious things.
it's good to be a kid every now and then.