Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am here today to confess that it is really hard for me to let my kids under the age of 8 pick out their own books at the library.
Wait, take a breath, don't start lecturing me, notice I did not say I don't let them I just said, "it is really hard for me to let them." And because it is so hard for me, occasionally, I will go to the library without them and pick out all their books. I am pretty sure that what is hard for me when they go to the library is to watch them just grab books randomly off the shelves and stuff them in their bags without a single thought. I know it won't surprise you that I have a system when I go by myself. You see, I keep track in my head and start in a different place in the children's section each time I go so that I end up rotating around the room. And then I look at every book in that section. I try to give each book a chance and not to judge the book by it's cover so I open it and flip through to see if anything catches my eye. I do not know how to explain what I am looking for but I usually know when I see it. My most favorite thing is when I get the books home and am reading the books to Tatiana and Natalie and discover that the book is really for adults and that I learn something. Well let me tell you that last week when I went to the library by myself I did very well. Last night when I was reading to them two out of the four books we had chosen to read really made me think and you know I won't rest until I tell you about them.
The first one is by Anthony Browne and I have always loved his books. The illustrations are so clear. And he always tells a good story. I thought we had read all of his books so I was surprised when I saw a title mixed in with his other books that I did not recognize, Silly Billy. I assumed he had written a new one. But this one was actually written in 2006 and it is about a little boy named Billy who is a worrier. Billy worries about a lot of things; shoes, clouds, giant birds etc. His parents try to reassure him that nothing will ever hurt him and that everything is in his imagination but their words never help him. One time he is spending the night at his grandma's and as all true worriers Billy can't even sleep at his Grandma's. He decides to tell his grandma and she tells him about worry dolls, you see if you have a worry doll you tell it your worry and then you put it under your pillow and then you can sleep. Now apparently I am the only person in the world who did not know about worry dolls. But I have to tell you about them anyway. The tradition of worry/trouble dolls started in Guatemala and, "to this day children in Guatemala trust their worry dolls to take away their worries while they sleep." Now just so the end of the book does not take you by surprise I have to tell you that Billy is an extreme worrier and he eventually has to make worry dolls for his worry dolls :) But nevertheless I loved this story. I immediately wanted to make some worry dolls. But I am not the kind of girl who has a craft store, "40% off coupon" in my wallet at all times. I only go to the craft store maybe once a year. So I was not sure how I was going to make a worry doll. I mentioned it to Gail, who I walk with in the mornings and not only did she tell me how to make them she also told me where to buy them already made 20 minutes up the road in Northampton and then to top everything off she gave me some that she had bought and just had on hand. They are so tiny and cute and my girls experienced untold joy when I showed them to them. Now we just have to worry about how to share them :)
The other book I knew was going to be all about life just by the title, Sometimes You Get What You Want by Meredith Gray. It is basically the story of my life :) My favorite page declares, "Sometimes your friends want to do what you're doing and sometimes they want to do something else"...SIGH...definitely my life. My second favorite page says, "Sometimes you get to sit next to the person you want and sometimes you don't." The sooner you learn that life is this way probably the less chance you have of owning worry dolls :)
I know you don't expect an over thinker to love things to be simple. But I really do with all my heart wish life was simple. Which is why I love how kids books describe life in a simple matter of fact way.
So I am off to make my list of things to tell my worry doll and after that I am going to think about how sometimes I get what I want and sometimes I don't. It will definitely be a busy day :)