Last Night’s Storytime

I had just three families, four kids who were probably 3-6 years old. They were a little active, and a lot talkative, and I was still (am still) struggling with this week’s news, and I wound things up a little early and got out our toys for play time.

As I put away my storytime books, they played with different toys, paired up in different combinations, and I heard one girl come over to another and say, “Can we share?” and the answer was, “Yes.”

I heard the older boy who was playing with the Wedgit blocks call to me, “Look! Look what she figured out! Now we can build like this!” And he went back to playing with the younger girl, taking turns stacking and building together.

As I was packing up the toys, I saw the three moms, one Asian-American, one Black, one white, huddled with their kids at the back of the room, ask each other their children’s names, and say to their kids, “Josh, this is Stephanie. Let’s say hello!” and “Stephanie, say hi to Lucia!”

It is not inconsequential that a mom is raising her daughter to ask to join in rather than take what she wants.

It is not inconsequential that a mom has taught her child to say, “Yes!” when someone else wants to play.

It is not inconsequential that a mom is raising her son to be excited about a younger girl’s discovery or to give credit for that discovery to her.

It is not inconsequential that we, libraries, offer a safe place for all families to come together and be community to each other. To raise up our children together.

These children are our future, this is true, but they are also each other’s present, each other’s NOW.

That’s not inconsequential, either.

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3 Responses to Last Night’s Storytime

  1. Sarah says:

    Thank you, Mel! Thanks for the perspective. I’ve been thinking of this a lot too – our role in building empathy and kindness and curiosity about other people and their stories.

  2. Melissa says:

    Thank you Sarah! I’ve been thinking about how the spaces we are creating to support early learning and play also can support community and relationship building among our patrons.

  3. Terri says:

    Thank you for this reminder of some of the small but important and wonderful things that are happening in our world every day.

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