Monday, April 20, 2009


Sabbatical - any extended period of leave from one's customary work, esp. for rest

It's been awhile since I've posted, hasn't it? After being sick, I'm well enough now to start moving around and interacting with the world some more, so hopefully I'll have some good stuff to write about. Being sick is sort of a lame excuse, I know, but I try to be positive on my blog, and it's hard to be positive when I feel just about as cheerful as the demon dog from the Ghostbusters.

When I'm sick, I'm also just about as cuddly, Michael can attest to that. A lot of people were really annoyed that they couldn't reach my by phone during this time, and I think I may have done you a favor, because you really don't want evil incarnate on the other end of the line, do you? That is, if I could have said a word anyway.

So now that I'm returning to more of a Louis Tully state-of-mind (is that really better?), I think I can blog now without wanting to rip the keyboard out of the computer and hit myself over the head to try to knock myself unconscious.

How about a library story while we wait for life to kick in? I was at work on Saturday, and two little girls came up to the desk. Adorable thing #1 and adorable thing #2. We will call them thing 1 and thing 2. The older of the two couldn't have been more than six years old. They said they lost their mom. I asked them what she looked like, then realized how stupid this was as they launched into a stuttered, hesitating attempt at any description that came to mind. I stopped them and asked what color hair she had (they said brown like theirs), and what her name was. I got on the phone and called the the second floor and the children's librarians, and asked them to look for her.

I understand that only having a name and hair color is not much to go by, but there is one other distinct feature that will clue us in on who the mom is: she will be frantically searching for her children. (Usually). There is something very singular about a woman with fear in her eyes, walking quickly up and down the stacks, peering into each one, turning her head, scanning all areas of the room. I got calls back from the other librarians that there were no frantic mothers nearby. Thing 1 was starting to get upset, even though I didn't let her know we hadn't found her mom yet. I hung up the phone and looked straight at her and said, "We've got lots of people looking for her and we're going to find her [insert smile]. Why don't you guys wait on this cushy couch right here? It's really soft to sit on." Thing 1 and thing 2 run over and plop down, and probably the most useful part of this is that they are staying in one place, and not running randomly around the library looking for mom.

Sure enough, two minutes later, their mom comes in from the parking lot with fire in her eyes. Relieved but angry. I could hear her yelling at them from the other side of the room. But really - I thought - didn't they do the best thing they could have? They realized they were lost, and they found an adult. And not just any old library-patron adult. But a real, bona-fide librarian adult. And we got a whole team of people helping them out. They did the best they could possibly do outside of having her cell number memorized. But at the same time, the mom was probably blowing off steam. She got worked up and freaked out and couldn't reign it in once she found them. But I really do think they did the best they could have.


Adam said...

Maybe there should be a boobie prize for screwups. Like - "Oh, you forgot our anniversary, but at least you remembered to put the toilet seat down, so here's a little throw-pillow you can use while you sleep in the dog-house tonite. No blanket though."

I remember this one kid who got lost at an amusement park, and instead of looking for an adult he went on his favorite logride over and over for 6 hours. Sometimes the screwup is its own boobie prize I guess.

Barney Family said...

Funny how dad made reference to the same story Adam just made reference to not more than a week ago. Somethings will be ingrained in the family psyche forever. But, I meant to comment on how you referred to library patrons as "any old creepy library patron." I'm going to feel self-conscious when I go to the library this afternoon.

Barney Family said...

Holy smokes, I just noticed your "notables for Erika" section. Man, I love being famous!!

Breanne said...

You never know which perfectly normal-looking person will turn out to be a "creepy patron." Just kidding. But I guess I was thinking more that the young girls could have asked for help from some random person that turned out to be a kidnapper or something... better they ask a librarian than a stranger, in my opinion.

Ross and Kathy said...

Adam, we lost you at 10am and found you again at 10pm. 6 hours -- ya right!