LIFE IS A SPECTRUM / A visit to the library can be a trip

Billy LOVES the library. This gives me all kinds of joy, because I always loved the library as a kid too. However, like with a lot of parenting experiences since I've realized I was the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, I've had to learn to let go of my expectations. I've learned to just let my unique kid enjoy the trip in his own way, because let's just say he has his own ideas about what makes a successful library trip. To their credit, his teachers and aides really let him choose his own books. And he has strong opinions and makes clear choices.

Now that he's a kindergartener, once every six days (don't get me started about trying to follow this six-day system in a five-day school week), Billy gets to go to the school library. If I remember to send back the book from his previous trip, he gets to pick out a new book.

Opening his backpack on library day is one of the highlights of my week.

Let me recount what I've found there over the last few months:

Curious George Makes Pancakes (we already have this book at home)

Madeline (we already have this book at home)

Dr. Seuss ABC (Yep, we've got that one too.)

At this point we have a semi-long discussion about choosing a book we don't have already at home. At which point I open his backpack and pull out ...

costumingmadeasy

Followed, six days later, by this ...

battletanks

That was a long week.

But after we managed to return this slightly disturbing bit of graphic war history to the library, we went through a golden period of Berenstain Bears, small chickens, cats who love christmas and an alligator who sends valentines to a squirrel. Several weeks in a row he brought home anything with a knight or a castle on it. And then he seemed to be fixated on any books that had a picture of someone or something angry on the cover.

Then library day rolled around this week.

Yesterday, I opened his backpack and pulled out ...

ColinPowell

This is a very long book.

There are not a lot of pictures.

But his aide told me he was insistent that this was the book he wanted.

And he does seem to have an odd fascination with Gen. Colin Powell's rise "Straight to the Top." I am stunned each night as he listens with rapt attention as we work our way through the beginning of the first Gulf War, Powell being named Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his decision not to run in the 1996 presidential election. Needless to say, I've already started hearing a few scripts about "the decision to go to war" coming out of Mr. McScriptyPants at some odd moments.

Who knows what next week's library visit will hold? A manual on repairing the lawn mower? Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover? The biography of Steve Jobs?

Like every other day with my amazing boy, I know that library day will bring another surprise, a belly laugh or two, and quite a few learning experiences for both of us.

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