A Place to Hide, For a While

Growing up, I was in a combined classroom which consisted of two grades. The teacher would teach a lesson to my class, and then while we were doing our work, go over to the other class to teach their lesson. This was not an educational fad, but a necessity. Our parochial school was very small and the class sizes were not big enough to have one teacher per grade level.

So while the other class was having their lesson, I would finish my work (and sometimes get into trouble by talking to a classmate) and pull a book out of my desk.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to read.

Sometimes sticking my nose in a book became a way to hide from the rest of my life.

Eighth grade was tough. My family had just moved to the Chicago suburbs the year before. Seventh grade hadn’t been too bad; I made friends and felt pretty good about the school I went too. It was another parochial school–I was in with the same room with the same classmates all day long.

Eighth grade was not kind. Some of friends I had made the year before graduated and a couple of my friends moved away. A group of “friends” started to ignore me. The other girls in the class already had their group established, and while I wasn’t ignored, I wasn’t exactly welcomed.

Every day after school, I ran home and pounded the stairs up to my room to hide in a book.

The characters in a book didn’t ignore me. They didn’t tease me or tell me I wore the wrong clothes or didn’t wear enough make-up.

Fortunately, that feeling of being left out didn’t last. High school was good and college was even better. I still loved to read, but I didn’t need to hide myself in a book as much as I did during that one year.

And then, along came another year when I really needed a place to hide.

I needed to hide from the poison dripping into my veins; from the old lady across the room attached to IVs; from the cold that seeped into my bones in the middle of summer. From the anxious looks my parents gave me when they thought I wasn’t looking.

And so I opened my book.

The words blurred in front of my eyes. I couldn’t bring the print into focus. I took off my glasses, used for distance, and wondering if they needed a good cleaning. I looked at my book again, and the page swam before me. My glasses were not smeared. The chemotherapy dripping into my blood was making me too sick to read.

I closed my book and closed my eyes. Nowhere left to hide.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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Lovin’ Our Local Library!

Yes, it’s true…I have “gushing book nerd potential.” I have admitted that I would rather meet authors than celebrities. Books are in my genes; I grew up in a literacy-rich environment. Newspapers, books, magazines…my mother was always telling Dad to stop reading at the dinner table because it was impolite. As a child, I watched my father write sermons; he read Bibles in Greek, Hebrew, German and English. His desk would be piled high with open books. I heard those marvelous sermons every Sunday morning. Reading, writing, speaking — I was surrounded by literacy.

As a child living in a small town, my library was my dad’s office. When my family relocated to the suburbs, I was thrilled to have a real, brick-and-mortar library within walking distance. And so, the library is one of my favorite places to take my daughters, as I try to surround them with literacy as well.

At our library, the first stop is this bench with a reading duck. There really are words in that book he’s holding!

Then, it’s on to say “hi” to the fishies. We brought our little neighbor with us on our last trip to the library. Hello, little fishies!

Clifford always needs a hug. He gets a lot of lovin’ from his special friend, Emmy.

Did you think our next stop would be the bookshelves? Silly readers, the puppet theatre is always next!

There are puzzles and games, story time and stickers, and so much fun to be had at the library! And yes, eventually we do arrive at the bookshelves to bring home stacks of books!

Christianne of Little Page Turners invites us to view her library, and it’s definitely worth the visit! Click on the button below to see their amazing library!

Little Page Turners

How about you? What do you love about your local library?

Where in the world are you this Wednesday? Next Wednesday, I’ll be telling you about the places we go! Whether you’ve traveled the globe or have merely gotten lost in a book, I’d love to read about the places you go! Have you documented your kids riding a camel in Egypt or clinging to a carousel horse at the mall? Show off your photos! Then stop by Lemon Drop Pie next Wednesday to leave your link and share your adventures!