Someday…

A few months ago my oldest daughter, Madison, mentioned to me that she might like to be a librarian when she grows up.  I tried not to burst with pride (I am an avid reader and bibliophile) and probed her carefully.  “What makes you excited about the idea of being a librarian?”

“I love books.” She told me in her matter of fact, Madison way.

Again, I felt like I was going to burst with pride, but what she said next concerned me.  “Books let me escape the world.  You know.  All the stress and anxiety of every day.” (Yes. My ten year old talks like that.  I am convinced it is the result of her being an only child who hung around with mostly adults until she was six.)  “Sometimes it’s better in books.”  That blew my mind.  Stress and anxiety?  Why does my ten year old prefer the company of Hermione Granger and Percy Jackson to her real life?  What am I doing wrong?  I began to have a mini panic attack.  Determined to get to the bottom of things, I casually asked her a few questions.

“What is so stressful to you?”

“You know, stuff.”

“Is there anything I can do for you?  What are some things causing your anxiety?”

“No.  It’s fine.”

I sighed.  This was getting us nowhere.

“It’s like this.  I get up and go to school and that’s real.  And I like my friends and I love my school. But…”

And then, in the midst of my overreaction (I was sure she was going to tell me about some life shattering issue she hadn’t shared with me), my daughter said the most amazing, prophetic thing any child has ever said (to me at least).

“We all need a break.  I may just be a kid, but school is like work to me and when I get home, I just need to relax sometimes.  Books are like a vacation I can take anytime I want.”

My heart swelled.  I love this kid.  Her ability to put complex emotions into the simplest of terms never ceases to amaze me.  So maybe Maddie will be a librarian someday.  She always tells me how the librarian at our local library is one of her personal heroes because she introduced her to so many of her favorite books when I had run out ideas. Maybe someday she’ll lead the next generation of kids to forgotten classics and brand new worlds.  Maybe…

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