Monday, March 1, 2010

The Best Nest for the Littlest Reindeer

With my associative only memory and nine children, I live in perpetual awareness that I am forgetting something. Seldom do I discover what those little unanswered worries are.

Last week, I thought it might be that I'm still sweating over a library book, "The Best Nest" from when my oldest, now about to be 17, was 20 months old and I took him to a biblioteque in Houston. We moved shortly after the visit and the book was shipped up to Maryland where it promptly got lost in the one hundred and fifty thousand books that first time parents must buy for their child so as to ensure they won't become illiterate before the parents become broke. If I'd known I would have eight more kids, I might have paced myself a bit better on the book buying front but I doubt it. Moderation is also not a watchword in my brain.

Many years later, "The Best Nest" was unearthed when I began searching for an alternative to "The Littlest Reindeer," a book that had been donated to us and which my daughter had fallen in love with, but which I personally could not abide after the 15th night of reading the treacle melancholy of the crying reindeer. "The Best Nest" suddenly was in my hands, but what to do about it. "The book was long since replaced." I reasoned. The ten year fine at that point would be astronomical if I ponied up admission, and yet the book sat there like a scalding nag on my record. Even worse, the book had been checked out under my son's name.

Why did I think a 20 month old needed his own library card? I chalk it to first timer madness. But why did the library see fit to issue a right to check out books card to a 20 month old? Again, I subscribe to the, "Don't mess with the Momma there, she's a first timer." theory. Veteran Marion the Librarians know better than to tangle with the women with pristine strollers and matching diaper bags; they just nod and smile and think, "Schadenfreude when she gets to number three. She'll be grateful to have me check those books out with her Driver's license or phone number since the cards will have been long since lost in the wash."

I did the cowardly thing; I returned it with the other stack of books that needed to go back to the local library. Maybe they had a universal central processing unit based on the Dewey Decimal system that would scan said book and return it to its point of origin, hopefully without the capacity to access such archaic Windows 2.0 materials such that the actual responsible party would remain unknown. I could hope. That week, I expected the lost book to return to my home via the mail like a bad horror movie. But after a week, I stopped reaching into my mailbox with trepidation. It hadn't come back and seemed to have returned if not to its natural surrounding, an appropriate adoptive home.

Why did all this come up? My oldest is taking the SAT. He's looking at colleges and I'm wondering, if he goes to school in Houston, will the book police be out in force to get him? And which will cost more, the library fine or the first semester of tuition? As I sat at the computer looking over several emails from potential universities that I might have to rule out to prevent an investigation into my past or my son's, my husband called. "Hi Sher, don't forget, the kids have altar training tonight at seven." And sheer relief flooded my being. That's what I'd been forgetting all along, I had nothing to worry about, my son's future was secure at least, as far as libraries were concerned.

Then the doorbell rang. It was the mailman with a small flat package. I don't know what it is, but I'm dropping off "The Littlest Reindeer" as a donation at the local library as a safety precaution and then, I promise you I'm not opening it.

1 comment:

MightyMom said...


you know that every bad choice you make as a new parent will come back to haunt one way or another hahahaha


go it...

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