A small head swivelled back and forth, little legs pumping in place, little shrieks of pure anticipation emanating from a vibrating body. “Let me go! Let me explore!” He was saying.
Where to first? magazines? Bargain rack? Kid’s section? Everywhere at once? He strained in our hands, wanting freedom, held back by his hands in ours. It is so much to see and do, we must get started right away, he said. Come on!
My husband and I turned to one another with that look where we both know what the other is thinking. Dear God in Heaven, what are we in for? Are our days of languid browsing for cooking and garden books, or quiet contemplation in the fiction aisle gone?
Our child loves to explore, and be in the world around him. We have fostered his curiosity, we have been enablers in his adventurous spirit, we have encouraged him to touch, feel, see, and taste his surroundings to understand them. He cannot stop, he is drawn, instinctively, to crayola-coloured spines stacked enticingly on low shelves. To wide, sturdy covers boasting untold adventure.
And now, we must follow, stooped over to return things to shelves, thwart spills and breaks, prevent falls and bumps on heavy metal shelves. Little hands must be held, or a little body hefted up into a stroller, sling, or even on Daddy’s tall, tall shoulders to see the entire world from waaaay up there.
I take my son by his hand, let my husband browse. We sit on the floor in the kid’s section, hidden down an aisle, my son perched in my lap, and I read to him from a big board book on caterpillars. He touches the pictures, pats the pages enthusiastically, then crawls away to pull another off the shelf. Much to my delight, he brings it back to me with a hopeful “bah!“, book held up and waving.
It is time to find our local library.
I am happy.