I stepped into a crowded but quiet library on a weekday morning with two antsy boys, one sweet girl and one ornery two year old who wants to walk “myself!” bypassed the computer directory (to save time) and headed straight to the librarian to help me find a book on the Atkins diet. What I ended up with was a lecture about how “we all know how to lose weight, we just need to do it.” Of course, the librarian himself was portly.
He found it his duty to dispense advice on which diets were trendiest and which were on their way “out,” and offer his suggestions for what I might need. All the while I was nearly lying on the floor trying to hold onto Breanna’s hand and use my other hand to stifle her screams. The other children took license to begin pulling all manner of books off the shelves (in God knows which section), deducing by the librarian’s mannerisms that we were in for the long haul. And the book? Checked out! I have two words: Interlibrary Loan. Well, maybe another two: Online Request.
An hour later we were scrounging the children’s department of Sears for sneakers and encountered another “helpful” employee starving for daytime conversation. I cringed–what now, a lecture on choosing the right athletic shoe? This woman was a God-send, quick enough to see I was a little overwhelmed and willing to use her wits to help-a-sista-out. She gave the boys a full-fledged lesson on the use of shoe horns, complete with hands-on exercises. They were enthralled long enough for Brooke to try on 6 pairs of shoes in peace.
You know what? No matter the delivery or venue, we’re learning all the time. Whether the instruction or instructor seems intrusive or helpful, we’re always learning. There’s just no escaping it.