The most time I ever spent with my dad one-on-one was as the library. We practically lived there every Saturday, arriving in the early afternoon and staying until closing. All of the librarians knew my dad by name, and didn’t mind special-ordering books that he requested.
Visits to the library evoke good memories for me. When I was younger, dad and I would go our separate ways upon arrival. I would head to the children’s section and dad would head to the periodicals, where he liked to peruse newspapers from around the country and the world. As I got older, I joined him on the adult side of the library, and would often bring homework or research projects with me to complete in the quiet, peaceful atmosphere that the library offered.
I also remember my dad and I collaborating at the library to find a way to ease mom’s nerves as she battled menopause. There was a gift shop in the library, and my dad would give me money to go buy her a trinket. We’d also agree to tell her how good dinner was multiple times that night when we got home. Our plan usually worked, much to our relief, as both of us shied away from emotional outbursts.
Those lazy Saturday afternoons spent in that soothing hush, and bringing home a tall stack of books to devour at my leisure, those weekly library trips are a treasured memory for me. I think they were for my dad as well. In fact, at my parents’ home, two books still reside on my father’s nightstand, gathering dust, awaiting to be read.