This week at your library @ your library

This week at your library:

Saturday, Aug. 25, at 10:15 and 11:15 a.m., it’s Saturday Story Time. Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for story time fun, then move to the community room for a snack and a craft. Families may earn one Baby Steps coupon for attending.

Wait, what? Just one program this week? Yes, because libraries everywhere learned many, many years ago, that August programming, like December programming, just doesn’t fly. Why? Well, you people are busy doing other things. You are school supply shopping, you are going to the lake, you are a wee bit panicked that summer is nearly over. You are, finally, taking the kids camping. You are looking up recipes for quick breakfasts and healthy lunches. (Most of you fall into one of two school lunch groups: Those who aspire to create Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” using locally sourced vegetables and organic sandwich bread, and those of you who are currently clipping Lunchable coupons. Depending on the day, you are both my people. I graduated from the business of making sure my children were fed several years ago, but that decades-long struggle can’t fail to leave scars. I salute you with both my organic banana and my processed lunch meat.)

You are starting to drag out the winter clothes, because this year your child will have snow pants, boots, hat and mittens on the first day it snows. (You are also mildly shocked that you put away last year’s snow pants still sporting the mud stains from the melting snows of spring on the knees. And, somehow, that little rip you remembered has grown to about eight inches long. Oh well, you have plenty of time to launder, patch and insert that new zipper before the snow flies. We know that you will not be joining the rest of us at Target on the first day of snow, jockeying for the last pair of black snow pants, which you have just enough time to drop off before morning recess. Probably.) You are starting to (gulp) shop for school clothes, wondering how much independence to give your seven-year-old in choosing their wardrobe. When they show up in the red and blue plaid skirt and the pink camo shirt, surely the school personnel will applaud you for encouraging creativity in dress, right? They won’t for a second think that maybe you simply gave up due to the lethal combination of exhaustion and the amazing debating abilities of your pre-pre-teen. And, hey, aren’t debating abilities the sign of an intelligent mind?

You are starting to schedule the sports physicals and the check-ups. Did they have their eyes checked last year, or was that the year before? Who needs immunizations? Who has filled out which sheet for which kid for which activity? Are the district forms complete? Oh! Did anybody go in and tell the transportation office that you are moving the last week of August and will have completely different transportation needs? (Yep, that was us one year.) Did anybody put the captain’s practices on the family calendar? When do practices actually start? Who needs new reeds for your instrument? Excuse me, what? You feel your inner musical soul will be best expressed by switching to the tuba?

Those of us without school responsibilities are doing some planning of our own. Which National Park can we visit between when the families are back in school and the snow flies? Can we fit in a two-week jaunt to check out a possible snowbird retreat on the shores of southern Mississippi before we need to be back for Grandparents Day? Hey! Weren’t we going to strip that atrocious painted-over wallpaper while it was still warm and we could have the windows open? (True story, happening right now at our house. It’s like reality TV, only better, because we have multiple generations involved.)

The library is still quite full of kids and their families in August, it’s just that you don’t come to programs, because, well, life. But we totally get that, and we’ve adapted. After the five-month crazy stint that we call Summer Reading (planning starts in earnest in March) we, too, are ready for a little break. So come on in, chill when it’s too hot, play a little, read a little, puzzle a little, and relax a lot. Life is about to get hectic again, in a mostly welcome way. In the meantime, though, revel in your last days of summer, and treat yourself to whatever makes you smile. If you’re around on Saturday, come listen to a couple of fun stories, have a snack, and try your hand at whatever craft we’ve got going after story time. (There’s probably construction paper involved.) Happy summer, my friends, and happy reading!