I drove around L.A. with the kids the other day while my wife had an appointment. I really wanted to explore this part of the city and hoping to find a cool coffee shop (without the help of my phone.) So I was on this discover Los Angeles theme with my girls, but that lasted 15 minutes before we passed a library. There was no debate at that moment when I asked my twins, “Do you want to go in?”
What can match the experience of an old neighborhood library? We walked past a busy room with a handful of friendly senior citizens inviting us in to browse through used books to buy. The girls declined and headed straight to the children’s fiction section on a mission to find a book. I had to modify their mission and told them that this library wasn’t “our” library, and they wouldn’t be able to use their library cards to borrow books. They were unreasonably disappointed but understandably so.
As we looked through the picture book section for classic and new titles, I couldn’t help resist reminiscing about my much younger days in the library. I remember the similar scents of printed books and the sounds of books being shuffled and hushed conversations. One of the newer sounds I recognized that didn’t exist in the library when I was a kid were beeps of barcodes being scanned, and keyboard taps on laptops of students studying. Do you remember the due date stamped inside the cover of the library book to remind you when it would need to be returned? I loved that part!
My children got Kindles for Christmas to read eBooks, but they know that nothing replaces a good ol’ printed book and nothing replaces being in a local library.
Are there any other “universal” childhood experiences and activities that still exist today? Have you brought your child to that place or introduced them to that experience?
- Take them to the skating rink and rent roller skates.
- Find a used record store and show them your favorite album covers.
- Play Scrabble or buy your favorite board game and play it on game night. If you don’t have a game night, then make one.
- Rent the original classic movies of the remakes your kids watch now.
Just some ideas to get you going. Your kids are interested in your childhood. Get going! Make it a great week!