I Hate Adventures and I’m So Glad I Have My Own Library Back

IMG_1758My son had a modest proposal. “Mom, when we babysit the three kids…lets go on an adventure!”

What?!” I queried starting to shake, “Take them out of the house? Into the wild?!”

“But…I thought”…he stammered. “I thought you might like to get out of the house.”

I was silent for several long seconds.

“Don’t you know me? I’m your mother. Aren’t you the child who said ‘Mom, for you, cooking bacon is an extreme sport’? Don’t you remember how I shook whenever I was in a store with you for more than 15 minutes? ”

“Actually. I don’t ever remember shopping with you.” he responded.

“Exactly. You were number three. I believe children should be placed securely inside a padded, noise-proof cell, so that I can sit down and read the Internet.”

“Oh. Okay.”

I thought that was that.

But then I realized something. It wasn’t an epiphany. I didn’t suddenly realize that life was short and shout ‘Carpe Diem.’ Well actually, I did realize that life was short and that shortly, I was approaching a crisis. A crisis that would require desperate measures.

My husband was about to have a knee operation.

I prepare for all crisis the same way. Be it snow storms, heat waves, unexpected visits by relatives, hospitalizations, vacations, it’s always the same. Loyal readers will know that in the event of a crisis, I go to the library, and load up on books. Anything is better with a good book.

But the Foxboro library had been closed for a month. And my husbands’ operation was just a day away.

I called my son back with a modest counter-proposal. I sighed. “Maybe we should take the three kids to the Mansfield library.”

“Oh. This will be an excellent adventure!” he declared.

I suspected that it wouldn’t. I suspected that the two toddlers would run in opposite directions, gleefully pulling books down from the shelves, while the baby would wail at the top of his lungs protesting the resultant inattention. That’s what my three would’ve done. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

The day of our potential adventure dawned oppressively hot. My son has spent the last month as a virtual single father, working and caring for his two kids while his wife goes to grad school 6 days a week. I sometimes help him on Mondays when he also takes his nephew as part of a shared babysitting arrangement. He’s actually doing quite well, all things considered.

But, that Monday, when I entered his living room, it was a war zone. One of the toddlers had broken a rattle. (The two and a half year old, who can speak, blamed the one year old who is less articulate.) The rattle had been filled with small balls of some mysterious material. These very small, potentially toxic balls, were hiding in my son’s shag rug.

Now let me digress for a moment. Remember when summer was nice? 80 degrees? A gentle breeze? Wet grass?

These days I prepare for summer like I am getting ready for a siege. I research slow-cooker recipes, and have a refrigerator full of rabbit food. I fear ticks, mosquitoes, and heat stroke. I’m a mess.

That Monday, while I was discussing potentially toxic balls with my son, the older toddler shouted Carpe Diem and fled outside. Taking the path of least resistance, I scooped up toddler #2 and followed, leaving dad to deal with the baby and the toxic balls.

We were all immediately attacked by a large swarm of huge, angry mosquitoes. This did not bother the toddlers at all. They immediately ran toward the dis-assembled and dangerous looking swing set in the side yard. I ran after them and prayed that my son would come out soon.

Soon, (but not soon enough) he appeared, swatting bugs.

“Let’s put them in the car.” he said.

At that point, there was a minor miracle. Toddler #2 (the one-year old) and the baby fell asleep in their car seats. Then they stayed asleep in the air-conditioned library, for nearly an hour.while toddler #1 read stories with his father. I got my emergency books! Yea!

This story has three morals. First, life is unpredictable, sometimes in a good way. Second, libraries are wonderful. The Mansfield library was packed. And air-conditioned. There were seniors, mothers, children, babies, and other folks. My toddlers were happy. In fact, everyone seemed happy, and cool, except for the librarians. They looked a little stressed.

The third, and most important moral, or point, is I thought ‘Why isn’t my own library open yet?! Where are you Foxboro? I need you!’

You see, my adventure wasn’t entirely good. The Mansfield librarians questioned me about my overdue books. At some length.

They asked. “Are you returning books?”

“No. I’m taking them out.”

“But you have overdue books.” they pointed out.

“Umm. The Foxboro library is closed.”

“They were overdue before the library closed.” They added.


“You can return them anywhere you know.” They said, just moving their head back and forth a faction of an inch.


“You’ll have to pay fines.” They added ominously.


The Foxboro librarians always just offer to renew my overdue books!

I wanted to point that out. (But, I didn’t. After all, the library was air-conditioned.)

So the real moral is: I am so glad I have my own library back! I immediately bought one grandson to the promised third floor tree-house. It was full of happy people and colorful toys. He loved it. It was safe with any stairs effectively blocked off. I loved that. There were all those wonderful windows. And my librarians were there! They were nice to me! They’re alway nice. The Mansfield library was lovely, air-conditioned, and full of books, and desperate times call for desperate measures. But the only adventure I want to have is to take the rest of grandsons to the new Foxboro library. …and…umm…return my overdue books…

1 comment to I Hate Adventures and I’m So Glad I Have My Own Library Back

  • Lyn

    How is Paul doing? Hope that he went to rehab after the surgery where they give you a head start — at least they did in Florida when I had my hip replaced. We are in Westport and often think of the good old days here. You, and all, are welcome to visit; just call first as we are often away or have company.

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