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Challenge: Reading Together

To the man in the library checkout line whom my children and I frustrated

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To the man in the library checkout line whom my children and I seemingly (and easily) frustrated,

Hi, Sir.

Yes, I do know how to use appropriate salutations when modeling for my children how to speak to adults and elders with respect.

Does that surprise you? It shouldn't.

And I am choosing to deliver some reverence to you at this moment despite your apparent inability to do the same for my three excitable children and me yesterday while in the book checkout line of the local library.

I am sorry that we arrived at the checkout kiosk just moments before you and that all three of my intellectually and socially developing offspring all wanted (okay, the two-year-old demanded) a turn to scan and collect their own books.

My apologies that this took longer than you would have liked and that we were likely delaying you from getting back to your chair or your car and probably a hot cup of coffee.

My kids didn't mean to disrupt this five minutes of your day, and neither did I.

We were merely attempting to expand our love for books, reading, learning and what a better place to do that than our local public library.

Yeah -- remember that? This is a PUBLIC library, meaning that all are welcome including my youngsters and me.

There was another woman, around your age, who came up behind you and gave me a similar judgmental glance and condemnatory stare as if to say "hurry it up with your noisy children."

While we may have brought with us a few above-whisper vocalizations, my kids were actually pretty quiet this quick trip and heeded my pre-entrance instruction to use their "library voice."

Still, it seems as though our minimal noise and the slow pace at the checkout line peeved the both of you.

I can't help -- then and now -- but to assume you must have been thinking, "ugh..millennials and their children" and probably concluding your thought with an eye roll and a head shake.

Maybe you even commiserated with one another and chatted unkindly about us after we left.

Here's the thing about us millennials and our children --

We love them more than we desire the approval of the general public.

We understand the extreme importance of encouraging our kids to venture out to, to explore, to make use of and to feel comfortable in a place that can and will forever encourage their love of learning.

We value the gifts that books inherently are and feel no shame in giving our children regular access to those both within and outside of our homes.

We promote the expansion of our children's minds by fostering a love of reading.

We believe in the importance of children learning how to properly interact with the general public in a public place by way of direct experience.

We know that inside of every child is a reader, and that though some just haven't found the books the light them up yet, us providing our kids with regular opportunities to search for them means that they one day will.

We know that children who read are children who think, and my goodness, this world could use more thinkers and improvers.

Here's what I, the millennial, is thinking...

That my little passive tirade here, well, most likely it won't make it's way to you and that even if it did, you probably won't see or care how your outward expressions of exasperation and annoyance made me feel.

Thankfully, my children didn't pick up your aggravation, and maybe that's because this millennial educates my children to ignore people's crotchety behavior and to instead focus on their conduct and on staying optimistic, light-hearted and cheery.

So, yes; yesterday, my three bubbly book-loving children and I held up the library checkout line, and I'm not guilt-ridden about it.

I'm only sorry that you weren't impressed that a millennial, like myself, was capable of taking her three curious and uber-smart children out in public to a county building for a successful book-checking-out adventure.

If I'm capable of that, just maybe, maybe I'm capable of convincing you to be a bit more tolerant and compassionate the next time children are in front of you in line -- at the library or anywhere.

Here's hoping.

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