It’s been hot. It’s been really hot lately, and aside from church or eating out, we have been stuck at home a lot, trying to get the house back in order after nearly two months of traveling. Being stuck inside at home though has a negative effect on Joseph’s mood and behaviour, which in turn has a bad influence on mommy’s mood. To avoid spending a day in the grumps because I couldn’t get in gear, I promised Joseph a trip to the library.
Joseph loves the library. I guess it sort of falls in the same category as those bookshelves we talked about earlier. He loves books and, in the interest of full disclosure I must mention that the library also has lots of computers which he loves. So, around eleven we happily set off to the wonderful Richland County Public Library. The people there have known him since he was barely two months old. They’re kind, helpful, and the library itself is so child friendly. Joseph loves it.
So, of we went on our adventure. First of all Joseph got to go on the elevator. He loves elevators, and escalators. And they have BOTH. Then, into the children’s section we went, with Michael slowly waking up in the stroller, and Joseph ready to explore. Up to the puzzles first. Then some books. We read 'Gossie“, and “I love trains.” and Michael listened along and looked at the pictures.
I am trying to teach Joseph more and more about the library, and I want him to be as enthousiast about it as I am. So, when he rushed past some more books, and wanted to go on the elevator, I swallowed my first reply which was: “No Joseph. We can’t. See? Mommy has the stroller.” Which would have probably be followed by much arm pulling and progressively more exasperated “No, Joseph. No!” Instead, I sort of forced myself to think: “Why not?” And unbuckling Michael, I left the stroller between the up and down escalator and up we went. Then down we went. My boys loved it and then I got a further idea.
I crouched down, Michael on my arm and holding Joseph back who wanted to go for another ride up and lowered my voice. Children seem to automatically know that when grown ups lower their voice a bit, things get interesting. I pointed at the desk and asked Joseph if he saw the people behind the desk. Of course he did. Then I told him that these people are…. Magic! I am not sure if he really understood the word, but at least he grasped that it was something very special. Then I went on and explained to him that if he wanted to read a book about anything… anything at all, he could just go up to them, and ask them. And they would find him that book. That at least sounded cool. So up we went, but when he stood in front of the desk, my little boy couldn’t think of a single subject. I had the impression that some of the librarians had actually heard my little ‘magic’ comment, because they seemed to have a twinkle in their eyes. I suggested a book about Jesus and Joseph immediately grasped at the idea. So very officially I asked the librarian if they had a book about Jesus. And yes indeed, they had. We followed the very kind man to the right section and he pulled two books for us. Joseph was impressed.
One of the books was an absolutely beautiful illustrated book about Jesus by an author called Demi. The writing was a bit too difficult (the book is based on the KJV of the bible), but he does recognize the scenes of course. We talked about it, pointed out sheep and birds with Michael sitting on my lap. We pointed at Mary in the nativity scene. We talked about what was happening at the wedding in Cana. We pointed at fishes and bread. We went over the last supper and I told him that was what we remember at mass (Theology in kid size! I should write books) And then it became harder. How do you explain the crucifiction to a two year old??? Joseph in the mean time had grown slightly impatient. He skipped a few pages and we saw the descent from the cross. I explained that Jesus had died. Before I could ask him if he knew what death was, he flipped forward to the end where we see the resurrection and concluded “And they lived happily ever after. The end”.
What more was there to say? No way I could explain it better, right? So I put the book away and ran after him.
On the way to the puzzles he was distracted by two other boys who were cutting and coloring at a table. He joined them and immediately started talking about his new friends. Zeke and Cody were wonderful, including the much younger boy in, and offering him scissors and crayons. I think I scored some mom points in the eyes of all of them by folding a little boat, and after admiring triangles and alligators, we went home.
I LOVE the library.