We are so lucky to have a gorgeous public library just down the road. If you didn't know already, I heart the public library with a capital HEART. I love that it's a public institution (your tax dollars at work!) dedicated to making knowledge accessible to everyone. In that way I see public libraries as essential to elevating the intelligence, creativity and empowerment of a population. Isn't that what being in a democratic society is all about? So clearly I have a bit of a crush on the library.
My mom took my sister and me to our local public library regularly as we grew up. I remember not being quite tall enough to see over the counter and watching my mom check out a big stack of books. I clearly remember the satisfying "chh-thunk" of the due date being stamped onto the library card in the front of the book. Now, I check out my books in a self-serve digital check-out which, while convenient, lacks that wonderful sound. Luckily, library books still smell the same today as then did in the 1980s (and I imagine as they've been since library books came into being). (Tangent: is there a library book-scented candle? Because I would buy that.)
I've gone to the library and checked out books for Dashiell a few times but only recently took Dash with me on our first library date. The first of many, many, many. At home, Dash crawls to his basket of books, carefully chooses them one by one, and hands them to me saying, "Da!" After I read a few pages he's already choosing the next one.
On our first library date I set Dashiell down in the sweet infant area of our library. He knew just what to do. He turbo-crawled to the shelves and began taking out books, showing me and saying, "Da!"
As I let Dashiell crawl around a bit he ventured into the picture book shelves that we'll frequent when he doesn't eat pages. As he crawled by, I saw Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport, which I instantly remembered as being featured on Reading Rainbow, one of my favorite childhood shows. It's a story about a boy who moves to Phoenix and finds that it isn't such a scary place after all (ha!).
During our library date Dashiell was nearly beside himself to see so many books. He would occasionally have to stop choosing books, flap his arms and say, "Ahhhhh uh uh uh!" before returning to the books. I feel the same way, buddy.