Wednesday June 8, 2011
“Let’s go, let’s go, boys. Get your shoes on and grab your books.”
Ten minutes later… "In the van, boys. Let’s go."
They stepped out of the front door and let’s just say they didn’t make a beeline for the van. Instead, one tapped his big brother on the shoulder then hid behind a tree, with a brother giving chase. The biggest bopped a little brother on the head, then swung him up on his shoulders. They chased each other all around the front yard, books in piles on the grass.
“Boys!” My volume went up. “In the van!”
They recognized Mom meant business and scattered, collecting their books again. Finally, we all got into the van and buckled in.
Four boys in? Check.
Seat belts on? Check.
Air on, music turned up – it sometimes soothes the savage beast (and I had four of them on my hands). If I could get them to sing along, they wouldn’t bicker – for now.
The library is close, so I’m in luck. It’s a small but friendly library and its best feature is the playground outside.
The boys tumble from the van with a chorus of, “Can we play on the playground?” and my answer, always the same: “After we get our books, boys.”
One strays toward the playground, but big brother (ever the enforcer) corrals him back toward the library’s front door.
We step inside and before you know it, I’m in four places at once. Always looking, always counting red heads. Answering questions, making recommendations, pulling one away from the videos and toward the books.
Selections made, they ask again to hit the playground. “Wait for Mom and your brothers. We’ll all go out as soon as we’ve checked out the books.”
The oldest pulls his library card from his wallet while his next youngest brother looks on enviously; he has to ask me for his library card because Mom still keeps it for him. Number three son is even more envious and asks for the hundredth time, “When do I get a wibwawy cawd?”
“Next summer, honey. Then you’ll be old enough. Not much longer.”
He sighs and puts his chin in a chubby little hand. I reach down and tousle those little red curls, then pat him on the head. I shift the littlest guy to the other hip. Although he’s heavy, it’s much easier to control him in the library when he’s in my arms.
The librarian piles up the books and asks if we need bags. The oldest volunteers proudly, “No, we can handle them.” We collect our piles of books and head to the playground. The boys automatically pile their books up on the bench and run for the jungle gym.
Thirty minutes later, with shoes full of sand and heads of sweaty curls, we head toward the van.
The ride home? Heavenly. Several are tuckered out by the playground, others have books in their laps. I only have to fend off a few requests to stop for drinks (“We’re only a few minutes from home, boys, and there’s plenty of juice there”).
They tumble out again, dump the sand from their shoes outside, and head for the family room, books in hand.
A round of juice for all, and they hit the books.
A few golden, quiet moments – thanks to the library.
Summer reading memories. How precious they are!
How about you? Can you share a summer reading memory?
Linking up with L.L. Barkat and friends today at Seedlings in Stone.