When I noticed that May 23 is the birthdate of one of our great children’s authors – Margaret Wise Brown, of The Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon fame – I immediately thought of my son.
Even though those two books, and others from Brown’s body of work, are favorites from my childhood, it had admittedly been years since I thought about them, let alone read them. But when Clayton was born last March, and as we had begun outfitting his bookshelf in preparation for his arrival, I was reminded about all the books I had loved to read as a child and would soon get to share with him. Motherhood has been an interesting journey in so many ways, but one of them is learning how we rediscover things from our past and how we reinvent ourselves all the time.
As I’ve been sharing my favorite books, songs, and other memories with Clayton now that he’s getting even bigger and more interested in the world around him, I’m finding new ways to use my library, as well. Even though I work at the Free Library, I’m a library user and lover like anyone else, although now I find myself and my library experience shifting a bit: instead of borrowing ebooks and audiobooks or popping in to the latest beer garden event or Author Events talk (okay, let's be honest, I still do those things, too!), I’m over here looking up baby and toddler storytimes and paying more attention to the things around our system that might not have made it onto my radar before—events like sign language for babies and toddlers, the pup-ular Read to a Dog program, and all of the other amazing Free Library children's events and programming. I think it’s awesome that the library can move and shift with us, to match the phase of life we find ourselves in, and to meet us where we are. The library has something for everyone, and that’s never been as clear to me as it is now.
So today, as I pause to celebrate one of my favorite children’s authors and reflect on the classics that were a part of my childhood and are now a part of my son’s, I’m grateful for the opportunity to enjoy these books in a new light. And I’m grateful for the Free Library, for allowing me to make memories with him through this stage of life!