Love at the Library
I love Sundays and libraries.
Tonight, as I prepare my solo meal I smile recalling life stories of earlier days. My mind travels back and I feel my body soften with a gentle exhale.
Life has happened so fast. My once-young daughter is now a mother of her own.
Music plays softly and brings me back to the first time I talked about love and relationships with my daughter. I recall when she was still in high school and asked for a ride to the university library.
We were halfway there when it hit me: love at the library.
I pulled over and parked before asking, “Who is he?”
My daughter was stunned and stammered, “Who is who?”
“The guy you are meeting at the library.”
My daughter looked disgusted. I must have looked victorious.
“I know what happens at the library,” I stammered and she sunk in her seat with a look of complete humiliation.
“What are you talking about?” she asked while fidgeting in her seat and playing with her long, dark hair.
“The boy you are meeting?” I asked—the look on my face reserved only for serious interrogations.
“How do you know?” she asked.
I smiled and explained that I too found love at the library, and how it’s a hot spot for intellectuals.
I reminded her that she was only in high school and even though her intellect far surpassed most grown adults, she was still indeed a high school student. Friends are okay, I assured, but just friends.
I was catastrophizing, envisioning her meeting a charismatic exchange student in the foreign film section or, even worse, an English or Philosophy major.
In my mind, it wasn’t the bad boy in a band who was a worry; it was the boy who could possibly write his way to my daughter’s heart.
Often, we project our own past wounds and fears onto our offspring.
“I’m going to study mom,” said my daughter, as I sighed, grounding myself. “What the heck are you thinking?”
She assured me that she had met older students at the library and they chatted but nothing else. I gasped, relieved, and then uttered, “There isn’t anything bad about love at the library or any other place.”
“Obviously mom, you had some experience at the library…pick me up before dinner please.”
I was left alone with my imagination. Alone in the car, waiting for her to return for the books she had left on her seat.
I didn’t dare go in.
The simmering dinner on the stove followed by my daughter’s FaceTime call brings me back. I smile and reach for the phone.
I answer, “Hello daughter, my how you have grown.”