Today is D-Day; the day when all my children's school library books are due for the year. Newsflash: school is about to end! This might not seem like a big deal to most of you. I have six children, however. Six children who frequent the public library, five of those children are in school and regularly check out books from their academic establishments as well. Add up the number of children in our household times a whole lot of reading material and you get a misplaced book (or two or three or...) on occasion.
This year my youngest daughter was in love with a book. She loved the complex characters. She loved the intrigue. The fascinating way the stories left you hanging...Will Dick continue to see Jane? Will Spot continue his life on the run?
Ironically, we actually own this thick yellow collector's addition of the beloved "Dick and Jane." Someone over the years, however, had misplaced our copy, leading my daughter to obsessively check it out from the school library every other week. No matter how often I tried to convince her to broaden her horizons, she continued to return with that book.
December 2, 2009 was the last time she checked it out. That is only because the book mysteriously disappeared without a trace, just like the last one. I had to wonder if my mind had snapped after hearing those stories over and over and over. Could I have blocked out a memory of my taking drastic measures to ensure never having to hear about Dick and Jane again? However, I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one in our home to have a bone to pick with Spot...
I admit I started to panic at the beginning of this week. I searched high-low-and in between disgusting dark crevices where no one should ever have to go. Taunting words echoed in my head: See Dick. See Jane. See Spot. NO, I DON'T SEE DICK! I DON'T SEE JANE! I DON'T SEE SPOT! I ultimately offered a reward to anyone who could find it.
My 7th grader accepted the mission. Her finder's fee: a movie with some friends after her soccer game on Friday night with me being the chauffer. At this point I would have agreed to about anything. I sighed and gave an exhausted nod of my head as agreement to her terms.
In less than 30 seconds she found the book. I kid you not.
Suspicions ran high, but my teenage Sherlock Holmes swore it was just luck that she happened to look up from searching the book shelf and discovered something yellow peeking across the top of the neighboring cupboard. She swore on the life of her brother that she wasn't involved in any foul play concerning the disappearance of the book. Her brother immediately keeled over...Not really, but I was finding it hard to swallow that fate would be so cruel as to make me desperately search for five months for something that someone else could find in a matter of seconds.
Dick and Jane were safely placed in my daughter's backpack (after she read the entire book one last sentimental time.) I finished our evening reading from her other library book, Dolphins, and placed it on the coffee table. I proceeded to get everyone ready for bed.
Morning arrived and my heart was light with the knowledge that Dick and Jane would be returned at last. We wouldn't have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to replace the lost book! Life was good...until I went to get the Dolphin book...which had vanished during the night without a trace. Sigh.
Did I mention that today is D-Day? So close and yet so far...