Friday, February 27, 2015


Dear Mom and Dad,

I was on the sofa with the family last night, and the Jeopardy question listed the 5 stages of grief, the last two being "depression" and "acceptance."

With you gone a year and a week, Mom, and you almost 3 (!) years , Daddy, I supposed I should be at "acceptance."

But I'm not.

I'm still at "depression" I think, and there's still "anger" left.  Hell, I'm still angry that Nanay left us and that's going on 7 years ago. Seven years!

I packed up your apartment. I scattered your ashes at sea.
But there is a piece of me that will never, ever accept that you are gone, I think.

Love you. Miss you.

Friday, January 09, 2015

I TOLD You That You Couldn't Do My Job

The Facebook acquaintance who thought she could out librarian the librarians (and the rest of the staff too, I'd guess) while being paid to be a page, shelving books, has lost that job. I think she was asked to resign rather than being outright fired, but apparently it was her poor attitude towards the staff that triggered this. Surprise, surprise.

I'm on their side. I like this person, but she's got an arrogant streak a mile wide, and I am sure that she was creating a toxic situation. Seen it many times before.

They saw her off kindly today. But I am sure that they are all breathing sighs of relief.
I know that I certainly would feel that way.

And I am thankful beyond measure that MY assistant is about 180 degrees different. I'm working on making her LESS self effacing if anything!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Adult Patrons Used To Be Kids Too

Had a librarian on a children's librarian Facebook page kvetching today about how she has to be on the adult reference desk having to "answer over and over how to print/download a doc from an email," and wishing she could stay in the Land of Children all day.

Well, cookie, I'd bet that those same patrons would like to be in the Land of Children too, where grownups take care of you and the word "responsible" refers to bringing your library books back on time and not letting your little sister crayon in them, and stuff like that.

Instead they're in the adult world with bills to pay. Looking for jobs. Dealing with all sorts of issues that don't show up in "Pete the Cat" books.

If I had a dollar for every time a grownup has apologetically said to me, "I hate to bother you," I'd have a very nice vacation fund.

They don't want to "bother" me. They want to know how to find that book themselves, or know how to download that document, or how to spell the words on their resume correctly.

But sometimes they don't. They haven't been lucky enough to have had a full college education, graduate school and regular access to computers and the Internet.

Sometimes their English isn't the best. Sometimes their personal hygiene leaves a lot to be desired.

But they are not, not, NOT bothering me. They are asking me to do my job--and I am so glad that I can do something to help them. Something that will make their life a little bit better that day. Maybe even something that will help them in the long run.

The man thrilled today because I helped him send his resume, the older gentleman patiently working his way through the basics of Microsoft Word, the nanny so grateful that I helped her figure out how to print her work schedule--their smiles and thanks mean as much to me as a hug from one of my toddlers. Perhaps even more. 

This foolish librarian needs to remember that those adults she hates dealing with once were bright eyed kids much like the ones in her children's room.Perhaps they too went to a library and found a helpful children's librarian, and think of us a good, kind people.

Her attitude sucks.  And I'm glad that she doesn't work in my library.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Happy New Year, Troll

Thank you for two hate spewing comments. If you want to add more, you will have to sign in with some kind of user name--and have me approve your comments. Which I won't, but then I'm sure that you won't have the courage to do what you did under a real, traceable name.

I don't know who you are and why you decided to start my New Year's Day with your bile, but I feel sorry for you if that's all you had to do that morning.  If there's so little love in your life that you had to take it out on me, on a post where I was sad about all the loss I've had in the last few years.

As for me, I got up and deleted your comments, and went and made Belgian waffles with ice cream and fruit for the Man I love (no matter how crazy he makes me), and for the daughters that mean the world to me. I fed the cats who are helping to fill the holes in my heart left by the loss of their predecessors. I read a really good book, I took a nap on the sofa, and I ended the day by cooking Filipino food with my husband. My lumpia will never be as good as my mother-in-law's were, but I cooked them with love for her in my heart, grateful that I had her in my life, wishing she was still here to see how beautiful and strong and kind her granddaughters are. And grateful that SC's surgery went perfectly, with nothing bad happening, and that she can now eat like a normal person again.

I was sad--and I am still sad--and I am still frightened by a lot. But some of the fear comes from having so much that is good in my life, and fearing that I will lose more of it.
Troll, whoever you are, I wish you well. Your hurt only hurts you. It upset me, but in the end it can't hurt me.

Because I am loved. And I know it.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Wanting to Believe

We made it through Thanksgiving, hard as it was to be here, without my parents--and having to serve a carefully low fat meal as well.

SC's surgery went as easily as was possible and she is making an excellent recovery.

Christmas is almost here, and I've done most of the shopping. There will be presents and food and we will manage the Christmas tree, even with Bruce, a.k.a. Errol Flynn in a fur coat, doubtlessly making it a challenge.

This awful year is almost over. And I want to believe that the next one will be happy and healthy and good.  That the various weird aches and pains I have had over the months are menopause and no more. That nothing bad will happen for a long, long time.

I want to believe that. I wish I could.
But here I am, still waiting for that other shoe to drop. For the bad things to happen. Because so much has happened and so much is gone.

I want my mother and my father. I want Nanay and Tatay. I want them all back and I want to be in NYC right now instead of here, trying to figure out how to do Christmas.

I want to drive the Man to his parents on Christmas Eve to go to Mass with them. I want Christmas Eve with my girls and my parents, watching the Yule Log on WPIX and watching the tree lights shine and wrapping presents and filling stockings.

I want Christmas Day in the overly warm apartment with Nay and Tay and our cousin and my brother in laws and sister in law all crowded in, and my great-nephew and nieces running about. All jammed in together, dressed up in our picture, and then all at the extended table overlooking the Hudson, feasting and being together.

My parents apartment is cold and empty. Someone else lives in my in-laws apartment, watching the boats on the Hudson and the lights of the George Washington Bridge. "A string of pearls"is how Daddy always described it.

I want to go back to when my girls were young enough for Barbie dolls instead of boyfriends, when the Man wasn't so angry so much of the time.

I want to believe there are good times to come and that nothing bad will happen and that things won't hurt so much.

But they do. And I can't. Not all of the time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Attention Moms With Nannies: Here's What Your Nanny is Doing

She's in my children's room, sitting on a sofa with 2 other nannies, gossiping (often in Spanish) and having a good time.  Or she's sitting on a chair, pretending to watch your child play while her head is bent over her phone, oblivious to what he or she is doing.

Your child is playing with other toddlers with little or no supervision.She's wandering about the room into the areas with shelves where books can topple onto her and where she could cut herself on sharp metal shelves.  He's crawling across the room, pulling books off the shelves and possibly finding things to put in his mouth.  She's racing out of the children's room towards the front door and the street. Hopefully a nice homeless person will catch her before she gets to the road--it happened this past summer, so perhaps she'll luck out too.

Your nanny isn't reading to your kid. She NEVER reads to your kids. There are boxes of paperbacks with junky TV characters, boxes of paperbacks in Spanish, tons of bright board books in Spanish and shelves and shelves of English board books. She doesn't so much as pick up a book and look at the pictures in it with your child.  She doesn't check out any books either--you could give her your card (if you have one) or get her one so she could do so. But you don't. And so she ignores the books.

She isn't talking or playing with your child at the library. She's just dumping your child on the floor and hanging out with her friends.

And when I had tons of great interactive toys, not only would she do the same thing, but she and her friends would walk out of the library, leaving books and toys scattered everywhere. That's why there are fewer toys with moving parts now. My husband made them a great toy kitchen, but the pieces went everywhere and they stuffed other random toys in the opening on the bottom.

Speaking of kitchens, she's feeding your child goldfish crackers or cheerios right under the "No Eating" sign, leaving them to be crushed under other kids' feet. That's if she isn't pulling out an applesauce and feeding it to them--or handing them little pieces of the fruit we found all over the shelves last week!

Now it could be that your nanny is NOT doing that. I have some wonderful nannies who DO come in and interact with their charges. Who read to them here and take books home. Who clean up the toys and put them away in the right boxes, and don't let the kids pull books.  But they're few and far in between.

It was a lovely fall day today. Your child should have been out in the park, running and playing and developing large motor skills that more and more studies show are key to brain development.

Instead they were here.

I know all about this, and you don't. Because you're never here. But I am.

The Library Lady
(Who is very, very grateful her kids had wonderful home day care providers who didn't have to take them on an endless round of "enrichment" classes, but let them be part of their home life, and took them to the playground just about every day.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dear Gods and Goddesses

In the last two and a half years you have taken my father-in-law, my father and both my cats. You took my mother, after letting her go through two harrowing years of illness.

I spent the entire winter and spring going back and forth to NY, dealing with my parents' things.

We just said goodbye to the apartment a month ago. We just took the last tiny bit of my parents' ashes to Chincoteague.

I was supposed to have closure. I was supposed to be able to move on and have good times with my family.

Instead, you have opened up our personal Pandora's Box and sent gallstones to my dear, sweet 19 year old daughter, who has been doing so well in school, who has been my Rock of Gibraltar through so much of the past few years.  The one who bought me flowers when I came back from NYC for the last time, "Because I knew you might be sad now."

She didn't deserve this. She didn't deserve a 2AM visit to an ER because she couldn't breathe, and the fear she now has, no matter how many people tell her that this will be minor surgery.

Please tell me whatever I've done to offend you, and what I have to do to get this to stop.
I'm so, so tired.

The Library Lady