I've spent the week trying to wrap my head around everything I have to do this semester—putting all my due dates on the calendar and making sure I have all the books I need and so forth. Today that meant I had to head to the library to pick up my holds. I'm taking a class on immigrant children's literature, which I think will be great.
I went through all the articles I need to read for this class and found corresponding picture books at our local library and put them on hold. I've been patiently waiting for them to trickle in but there were three that were just...very slow to transfer...and I had library books due today so I finally decided to just go to the library. I'd go back for my other holds later.
When I left all the kids were playing in the basement, so I just sneaked out the door and drove away. Alexander came up some time later and was upset that I had gone, so Andrew gave him the iPad and let him play some games but he was still very happy when I got home. I was just pulling the out when my phone alerted me that...my other three holds had come in.
By this time Alexander had gone back downstairs to see what Benjamin and Zoë were doing.
"Should I go get those books now?" I asked.
It's a long weekend so the library will be closed on Monday and...then things might get busy and...
"You still have your coat on," Andrew pointed out.
So I left to go back to the library, again sneaking out without saying goodbye to the kids (because honestly they make everything take about 5x as long as it would take otherwise). Alexander apparently came up soon after I left and wanted to know where I was.
"Mom's at the library," Miriam told him.
"No, she's not!" Alexander said. "She came home."
"She literally just left for the library," Miriam said.
"No," Alexander said, sticking out his little pouty lip. "She's not at the library! She came home!"
"She did come home, but then she went to the library again," Miriam said.
"No! Mom came home! Mom came home! Mom came home!" Alexander wailed.
He was very relieved when I walked in the door and when he was up in my arms he grabbed my face, looked me in the eyes, and said sternly, "Don't go to the library ever again, okay?"
I couldn't promise that, but I did promise that I wasn't going to make any more trips to the library today.
He's still so opposed to separation of any kind. On the rare occasions that Andrew or I leave, Alexander will always come up to the other one of us to ask if we will take care of him while the other parent is gone. Like...duh. Yes, we will take care of you. That's what we do. But he just has to check for some reason.
Anyway, I thought since not a lot went on this week (we stayed home, worked from home, homeschooled, started our eLearning courses...very much...just home) I thought I would share three stories from the batch of books I just returned to the library.
The one with the most beautiful illustrations: We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade. The words were gentle and soothing, but firm and powerful. The pictures were stunning. I want to buy the book just for the pictures. And it allowed for some excellent conversation about pipelines and environmental/indigenous land issues. We've been doing some indigenous studies the past couple of months, so this book was a good find and an absolute treat to read.
The one that made my children laugh out loud: I Love Cake by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Angie Rozelaar. Zoë and Alexander were absolutely cracking up over this story. Zoë had read it to Alexander before I got around to reading it to them and Alexander couldn't even let me get through the first page. He had to interrupt me to tell me about how Rabbit says, "I am Rabbit." And Porcupine says, "I am Porcupine." And Moose says, "I am Frog... Just kidding! I am Moose." And...this kid...was just laughing so hard tears were rolling down his cheeks. It's a pretty cute story. I didn't find it quite as funny as Zoë and Alexander did, but it was cute.
The one that surprised me with tears: Grandpa Green by Lane Smith. I was fine through the whole story until we opened up the double-wide spread at the very end to reveal the beautiful topiary garden Grandpa Green has made to help preserve his memories and then I just could not even. So luckily I didn't have to say very much after that because the story was over, so I had a few minutes to gulp down my tears and compose myself while the kids took in the artwork.
Oh, I should also mention that while I was waiting for my books the first time around (which took a while because there were so many) an older woman (I'm guessing she was in her 70s) came into the library and was surprised to find the entrance to the library blocked off. Our library is doing "curbside" pickup, which sounds like they might bring books out to your car but that is not at all how it works. Instead they have a table set up at the entrance to the library and you flash your library card there, they scan it, and then go into the library to find your holds and then put them on a table for you to bag up yourself. But "curbside" is catchy, I guess.
Anyway, this woman came into the library—wearing a mask, thank goodness—and then was just absolutely gobsmacked that the entrance was blocked.
"What is going on?!" she asked.
"We're only doing curbside pickup these days. Since Monday," one of the librarians said.
"Oh, so you open again on Monday..."
"No. We've been closed since Monday. We don't have a date for reopening yet."
"Well, what's going on? Did something happen?"
The librarian just stared at her. Did. Something. Happen...?
Finally the librarian said, "It's just...our local cases have risen to a dangerous level and..."
"Oh, this is so ridiculous!" the woman said. "So I just have to go home and choose my books on my computer and come back here to pick them up?"
"Exactly," the librarian said. "Unless you know what..."
"This is just ridiculous!" the woman said, spinning on her heel and storming out of the library. "Completely out of hand..."
I, for one, fully support library services being limited the way that they are because our case numbers are on the high end (8000 to 9000 per day, on average, this past week). I agree that the pandemic has become exhausting. It would be so great to go out in public without worrying about other people. But the vaccine just isn't being delivered fast enough and there are these new strains popping up and...I just think it's going to be a while yet, so I think we should just get comfortable.
Our old ward (in Spanish Fork) has been reporting a lot of interesting ailments lately (from what I've gathered on Facebook). One friend's teenage son had to be hospitalized for a blood clot in his leg and a pulmonary embolism. Another friend (probably in her 50s) just announced that she'd been in the hospital a few weeks ago for a post-COVID stroke. Another friend from that ward posted a GoFundMe for a cousin of theirs whose husband (in his 30s) passed away after having a major heart attack after having COVID. I think there were a few other stories that have popped up like this in our old neighbourhood and it's...just been a crazy level of illness and hospitalizations and time lost to consider.
I'm kind of glad we're not there, though I'm not sure we're doing much better here.
I think we just don't have as many connections here...since we've been isolating for more than half our time here. But life is good, we're doing well. We have plenty of books to read and are keeping very busy (even if our busyness borders on monotonous sometimes).