I’m No Good at “Quiet”… I am a Free Spirit, Even at the New York Public Library
Mama and Daddy and my big sister Addie and me went to the big, big library in New York, which Mama said is pretty famous and that there were going to be lions there. At first I thought that she meant real lions, and I have seen those on the National Geographic movies about animals that we watch at home, but she meant stone lions. There they sat in the front looking like they were guarding the library.
Inside there were trees and a lot of people being really quiet. Since it echoed in there and I know how to make a really good echoing sound, I shouted as loud as I could all the way in the main hall. Mama told me to “shhhhhh” like she does when I am roaring, but I was just being like those stone lions and protecting the library.
We wandered all around the building until we got to the children’s section, which was a place where I could get down and I could be loud. I read some books to Daddy, and then we got to do the little people’s storytime with a bunch of little people about my size. A sweet librarian named Sue came in to see us. She talked softly and she smiled a lot, and everyone stopped to listen as she started to sing songs.
There were lots and lots of songs, and I liked them a lot. I played along for a while, but then I decided to walk around and shout some more. After all, I had been in the stroller a lot of the day, so I wanted to run and to play and play and play. All of the other kids stayed more still than me. Mama kept trying to get me to play along with my big sister Addie, but Daddy said something about me being a “free spirit” and “a unique soul” and that it wasn’t going to work. He was right– no one was stopping me. The woman who did the storytime did not seem to mind, and she played with puppets with me and gave me little egg shakers to shake in my hands to make rain sounds. Before we knew it, storytime was done and the woman making the stories and songs laughed and told Mama that it was just fine that I had been everywhere. Of course it was, Mama, this was a time for play. I just throw myself into play. All of me, every ounce, becomes play.
Just like the shakers sound different when played in different hands, we are all different. I might be loud and I might be everywhere, but I am just dancing to the music in my own head and making my own beats in the world. And that beat… the one that is mine… it is perfect just the way that it is, because it is how I was made. I might not be made for quiet, but I am made to make an impact on everyone around me everywhere that I go. Thank you, New York Public Library, and thank you, Sue, for letting me be myself in a space that is meant for quiet.