Friday, July 11, 2014

Life, Mistakes and Coloring in a Library Book

Life is full of teachable moments.  Most of the time I have a hard time recognizing them and then second guessing things when I look back.  "I should have done this, or that" are frequently muttered in my own head.

We stumbled on one of those teachable moments this week.  So before I go any further let me just say this:  If you learn anything from me, besides how to read really long sentences with smilies.  I hope it's this:

You are absolutely going to make mistakes in life.  That is a fact.  We are human and we are faulty.  It's just the way things are.  Life isn't about being perfect and NOT making mistakes.  It's about how you go about fixing those mistakes that helps determine who you are.

Or at least that was speech I gave my daughter this week.

This week, she got her very first library card.  Within a couple of hours of bringing everything home she colored in a book.

Gasp!  She did what?!?  

In her defense it was a workbook for a phonics kit.  The only problem was that it belonged to the library and was a reference book.

There were many tears when she figured out what she had done.  She wanted to know if we still loved her and if she was going to get yelled at by the library.  We explained that we were going to have to pay for the book and that she was going to have to do chores to pay us back.  Dinner was awkward that night because she basically cried all the way through it.

So the next morning we brainstormed and she wrote a letter to the library.  We talked about how sometimes it is easier to write stuff out than it is to say it.  So she wrote out an apology letter and we took it and the books back to the library.  She was very nervous and wanted me to hold her the entire time.  She choked up and handed the letter to the librarian.  The librarian read it and the translation on the back just in case she couldn't read first grade handwriting.  The lady was very sweet.  She told Clover that it was an honest mistake and she could see how it could happen.  She also told her that it was the sweetest letter they have ever gotten.

I think the both of us were a little relieved.  She then asked us if we had signed up for the reading club and went on as if nothing was wrong.  I could see Clover starting to loosen up when she figured out that the world wasn't going to end and she wasn't going to get yelled at or barred from the library forever.  However we have temporarily suspended her library card for the time being.   We are going to visit the library (it's air conditioned, and it's hot here) but she will not be taking any books home for awhile.  I reapplied for my library card so I might bring a book or two home.  Finding time to read them is another story.  At least I know I wont be coloring in them.  And with everything that happened this week, my daughter knows that too.     

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