Mothers, Libraries, and Reading

I am thinking of my mother today on Mother’s Day.  At nearly 91 years old, she is still going strong, for which I am grateful.  When I think about Mom, there are a lot of different directions my thoughts go—but today, for some reason my memories are related to books and libraries.

We didn’t have a lot of money to buy books, although we did have a few.  But mostly we got books from the public library.   My sister, who was in high school, worked at the public library.   I couldn’t wait to get my own library card, and was very proud when I did.  But books were in the house long before that.  My mom read to me at nap time and bedtime.  We shared favorite stories, and talked about the tales we read.  Favorites included books by Robert McCloskey, Lois Lenski, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.  A river ran through Make Way for Ducklings received the 1942 Calde...the park on our side of town, and both the river and park were well-liked by a variety of ducks.  To this day, when I see a duck and ducklings crossing a street, oblivious to the cars, I say “Make Way for Ducklings!”  My mother does too, and that always makes me smile.

I know that people still read books, of course, even with downloadables becoming more and more popular.  But on this Mother’s Day, I’m wondering if the joy of sharing children’s books and illustrations, of reading to children as they fall asleep, of favorite quotes like the one my family shares at the sight of ducklings crossing the road, will be something that will eventually be lost to technology.  I don’t think so, at least not entirely; but it may happen in some families.   And time may show us that families will still share those same experiences, by listening to stories and watching videos together.  Time does march on, and I’m not wishing to stop it (really!).  I’m just wondering about all this, today, as I think of my mom on Mother’s Day, and remembering those ducklings.




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