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My Daughter of a Librarian
Kathryn Ma's essay has me wondering about my own daughter
This week, I stumbled upon Kathryn Ma’s essay in Lit Hub about growing up as a librarian’s daughter. As I read, I couldn’t help wonder how my child might feel in the future about having the same title.
I was hired at the library in my third month of pregnancy. When my daughter was one week old, I walked her through the stacks, introduced her to my coworkers. My mother-in-law brought to her to story time every Tuesday while I helped patrons print documents and find titles. Even now, when we attend events there on the weekend, the librarians greet my daughter by name.
The library is as much hers as it is mine.
Sometimes after dinner, we’ll sit on the couch and look through the catalog on my phone. She’ll tell me which books she’d like me to put on hold. She gets excited when I bring home books with “the black line,” the barcode crossed out when a book has been discarded. She doesn’t care if the pages have rips, if someone’s taken a crayon to the cover. It’s a book and now it’s hers.
Thank goodness I ended up with a child who likes to read. Many parents wish they could give their kids the world. And I kind of actually can.
When I go to work, she says, “I’ll miss you. But bring me some books, please.” It always makes me smile.
But the deepest lesson came not from fact but feeling. What I felt in my mother’s presence was library. Was a reverence for knowledge, and her belief in the truth that can be found in books.
- Kathryn Ma
In keeping with the library theme, this made me chuckle.
In Michigan news this week, three men broke into an abandoned mine in the Upper Peninsula and stole a lot of copper. The Reddit comments were just what you’d expect.
And in even more Michigan news, apparently we have our own groundhog? And where Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, thus predicting 6 more weeks of winter, our own “Woody” predicts it’ll be an early spring. Who’s right? Well, technically, they both are. Six weeks is early March, which for Michigan, is still usually snowy and cold. So if it starts to warm up then, you’re gonna have some pretty happy Michiganders.
I’m getting serious “Get off my lawn” vibes from this groundhog.
What I Read This Week:
Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide by John Cleese
Children at play are totally spontaneous. They are not trying to avoid making mistakes. They don’t observe rules. It would be stupid to say to them, “No, you’re not doing that right”…Most adults, by contrast, find it hard to be playful—no doubt because they have to take care of all the responsibilities that come with an adult’s life. Creative adults, however, have not forgotten how to play.
This was great verification for this year’s mantra of finding joy and embracing play.
What I Listened To This Week:
I started off listening to How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures by Sabrina Imbler but I stopped after the first essay because I want to take more time with her fantastic prose, so I’m waiting on the hardcopy. Just beautiful writing.
What I Watched This Week:
It got off to a slow start, but I am in love with the new National Treasure series on Disney+. It’s got a fun nostalgic quality for those of us who love the original Nicholas Cage movies and it’s totally keeping me on my toes. Just when I think I know what’s going, it throws another plot twist at me. Two enthusiastic thumbs up.
Books I Can’t Wait to Read:
Sonya Huber’s Love and Industry available for pre-order from Belt Publishing
NYT writer Jessica Grose’s Screaming on the Inside
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