Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Putting a pin in it

In an ill-advised plot to simultaneously accomplish a pain in the neck errand and wear out the child, I decided to take a stab at a mid-week, post-dinner, end-of-the-day run to the library with Sara tonight.

Yes, the Central Library. Downtown. The rather large one. That I haven't completely got a handle on just yet. Right right -- that's the one.

And I guess now is just as good a time to mention that I woke up with a headache this morning which I never did shake. (Is it possible to shake a headache that you wake up with? I don't think so.)

Anyway, Sara and I traipsed off to the beautiful new library, her library tote in tow, with just a few things to gather up. Because she is three she made attempts to run through the stacks and hooted like an owl in the old, high-ceilinged reading room, and because I am Mama I threatened her with No Books For You or Going Home Right Now if she didn't knock it off. We reached a middle ground and made it out relatively unscathed, if not quickly or quietly.

But oddly enough, this isn't a story about the library. This is a story about the moments after we left the library, when I pulled out on to Pennsylvania and then made the west-bound turn on to St. Clair to make our way back home up Meridian Street. To our left was the American Legion Mall, with all of its memorials and monuments and homeless people, and to our right was the grand sweeping staircase into the old original library, the same entrance that I walked through myself for so many years though it's now outfitted with a unique work of modern art. As I made the turn and navigated the car around jaywalkers and parallel parkers I heard a loud, hoarse gasp from the back seat.

You don't hear a three year old gasp like that everyday.

If it had been an adult I would have slammed on the breaks and braced for impact, but as it came from a preschooler my instincts were tempered with curiosity and a little amusement. As soon as I realized that we weren't about to hit anyone or anything, I heard Sara say "Look at THAT one. What's that called, Mama? What is it? Wait -- a sunset? A sunset. Yeah, a sunset. That is one of the GOOD ones. That is a good sunset."

And it was.

But I never would have noticed it if not for the fresh eyes of my sweet girl. And I think this is why God sometimes gives us ill-advised plots for Tuesday night trips to the library with a three year old.

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