Dogs and babies have a way of breaking down all social barriers.
Ain’t that the truth.
I was at my beloved library on Sunday when they were having an event in the reading room. When that happens, you need to find another place to read.
There’s the cozy Whitridge Room, but fills up quickly, and the Kid’s Room with its many nooks and crannies.
I found mine seated on the floor using my jacket as padding.
It was quiet, not always the case in the Kid’s Room, so when this itty-bitty girl plopped beside me with Jemima Puddle-Duck, I jumped three feet in the air.
Naturally I was charmed…who wouldn’t be having a two year-old trust you like that, and unlike dogs, I don’t nearly get my fill of babies.
After disposing Jemima in my lap, she looked up I realized, waiting for me to read to her.
Looking around for a parent, I thought, hey…I’m just going to enjoy this.
So after I finished what I can only describe as light reading, she pressed my arm and said,
Four gens later, I now know Jemima as if we were sisters and could probably do a one-duck show.
Being the reader I am, I totally get it…her Beatrix Potter being my Jane Austen.
Suddenly a woman in her 30s appeared. “Delilah, what are doing pestering that lady?”
(what happened to names like Ann and Mary?)
“Oh no, I’m having a ball,” I said, defending my captive audience.
“Where’s Annette?” she asked, looking around.
That’s when, for the first time, I noticed a lady napping on a stool much too small for her girth.
The little girl was so focused on her book she ignored everything her mother said.
“Your daughter’s reading muscle is developing early. How nice for her.”
“She does love her books,” she said.
When her mother pulled her to her little feet she wailed.
“Oh, don’t cry Delilah,” I said, sad to see her go. “Maybe we can read together again (gen) some day soon.”
She wasn’t buying it anymore than I would have, but off they went against her and Jemima’s better judgment.
I have to say, the encounter left me both elated and sad. Must be nice having a little girl to read to night after night along with an occasional quiet Sunday in the Kid’s Room on the library floor…sigh.
Ordinary blessings, to quote Joan Didion.