Monday, January 26, 2009

field trip


i actually really love mondays.
back to the pace
and rhythm of things.
but mostly,
i love that i never plan anything
for monday.
so it's like a free day.

today's free day was spent
on a field trip.
a field trip to that
children's library
that is just between us and the river.

it was our virgin trip--
though i'd driven past the place
a hundred times--
it was time to take the girls,
as i'm sad to say,
they'd never been to a library.
is it just me,
or do they all feel like 
part of a dying breed?

the scary dolls in the window
may have had something to do
with the emptiness of the place. . .



but to be honest,
i kinda liked them.


i guess there's really something to
these disappearing soviet-era
establishments
and their window displays
that already for me
are stirring up
feelings of nostalgia.
when they go,
there's a character lost
that will never be replaced
by any modern attempt.


inside,
as we were the only children there,
we were met with open arms,
first by the director,
and then passed from librarian
to librarian--
each anxious to show us 
her own little nook
of the children's library.

we played a fishing game
with cardboard pieces that had been
taped together sixty or so times,
we pulled half the books
off the shelves
(and left them there,
cause you don't dare put it back
in the wrong spot!)


we perused the section entitled
"когда мама была маленькой"
(when mama was little)
which, of course,
was my favorite part,
full of a wonderful collection
of old children's books
from the 50's to the 70's


others of us
loved the disney books
that came with a "cd player"
to change melodies
to go with different parts of the story. . .


and lastly 
we made friends with
the poor fish who was stuck
in the dark, tiny pool of water
underneath that old fountain
fashioned after a mountainous
babbling brook
complete with plastic plants
and fake snails.
certain of us
finally dared to stick her little hands
into the water
and as soon as they were caught
their first reaction
was to lick those hands off.
and that was the point
where we said goodbye
to the soviet children's library
and promised to
come back again soon. . .

3 comments:

happyfamily said...

Wow! A WHOLE Children's library all to oneself? My kids would DIE. We go to the library about twice a week. And, the library here is THRIVING. You would like it.

Although since you've sworn off America...

christine said...

hey, london has that exact same disney book (english version, of course) with the "cd player", she carries those cd's around in her little purse. our library here is getting rebuilt into a much bigger, better one this year. we can't wait.

Amy said...

I can't believe that you remember to take pictures of the most ordinary things to document your life. It makes it feel extraordinary.