On Wednesday mornings for the past month or so, I’ve taken Ian to story time at the library. The first week, I didn’t expect parking to be as crazy as it was, so we parked far away and walked to the library, which made us late. We also accidentally went to Preschool Time instead of Toddler Time, because the two happen simultaneously but in different rooms, but by the time I realized, I wasn’t moving.
At any rate, we eventually found Toddler Time and have been a few times. I met a mom (whose name I can’t remember right now which is driving me CRAZY) with a little boy named Eli, about 3 months younger than Ian. They’ve also just moved to Grand Rapids (from California) for her husband’s job, and in my head, I’m of course hoping we can be friends. The fact that her son’s name is Eli makes me desperately miss our friends Kent & Missy and their Eli. (Every time we encounter an Eli or Grace or Emma I wonder, “Does Ian recognize the name?” Is he thinking, “Hey! I have a friend with that name!”)
We showed up at the library this morning ready to go. We were, I thought, just in time for Ian to play for a bit before story time began. But as we got closer and closer to 11:00, I realized that the lights in the story room weren’t turned on, and it seemed especially quiet at the library that morning. Not nearly as many kids were running around as had been in previous weeks. I looked around for Eli and his mom, desperate for a familiar face or for someone who might know what was going on, but they were no where to be found.
At this point, how hard would it have been to look at any one of the moms or grandmas or nannies around me and say, “Hey, do you know if story time is happening today?” But, of course, I didn’t do that. I hate feeling like a novice. (Case in point: during the first week of classes my freshman year at UF, someone saw me fumbling with my map and asked if I needed directions, and I said, “Oh, no, I’m fine. Just exploring.” I sort of accidentally found my way back to my dorm over an hour later.) I want to seem like I have it together.
Eventually, I overheard someone ask the librarian where story time was happening. Apparently, during the summer months, story time moves to the lake. How lovely is that? Singing songs and reading stories in a park in the wonderful summer breeze? Seriously, so great!
But at that moment, I was so frustrated.
I don’t really know why this bothered me so much. Each day, when I actually have a plan or a routine set up, I’m so grateful for it. Story time was beginning to feel at least slightly familiar. I hated that the plan got messed up.
This is the reality of moving. The loneliness and frustration sneaks up on me at weird times, like when trying to schedule a dentist appointment or, you know, missing story time. Isn’t it silly? Such a small thing, but as I cried on the drive home, it didn’t feel small.
It felt like starting all over again.